Dominique Jeanne Kantor was born on April 17, 1993 in Orlando Florida. Her family quickly began to call her Nikki. It just fit her. Being born in Orlando seemed to be destiny for Nikki. She was a Disney fanatic. Our family took many trips to Orlando after moving back to NY. In her 17 years Nikki visited Disney 8 times. She even chose it to be her Sweet 16 instead of a party. Nikki’s other passion was dance. She began dancing at the age of 3 and loved it from day one. Five years ago Nikki decided that she wanted to be on a dance team. She wanted to compete and she knew immediately that she wanted to dance for Elite in East Northport. Nikki had a connection to a few of the kids on the team and felt that it would be a great fit for her and for her sister Alex. Our family joined the Elite family and has never looked back. She grew as a dancer and as a person. Her loyalty and relationships with her Elite team gave her strength at some moments in her life that were very difficult.
Nikki was a good student as well and determinedly balanced dance and school. Her grades were important to her, but learning was essential. Reading fascinated her from a young age. Very often Nikki could be found curled up reading a good book. She would get lost in a story and sometimes lack sleep to finish up a novel.
Those of you that knew Nikki would agree that she was a people person. Nikki had amazing social skills for a 17 year old. She knew how to make people feel comfortable. Speaking with Nikki for 10 minutes you would feel completely at ease and able to open up. This is why she had friends from every walk of life. She didn’t judge you based on appearance, social status, life choices, etc. Nikki had friends from every group in school. She also didn’t care if she was judged. Nikki was determined to be her own person. She dressed the way she wanted, she did what she wanted and as long as she wasn’t hurting anyone, she was happy. There were moments where she fell prey to teenage judgments and was hurt by other people’s words, but for the most part Nikki was her own person.
Family was extremely important to Nikki. Her relationship with her parents was not considered “the norm” by her friends. She confided in them more than most, not everything of course, but more than most. Her very best friend would be her sister Alex. The trust and bond they share is irreplaceable. Nikki’s future family—her Sir Thomas, her “brothers” Steve and Scott and her new “lil sis” Emily have a bond that was formed quickly and powerfully. Her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all had deep connections with Nikki. We all will forever treasure how close she was with us and hold that close to our hearts eternally.
Friends…how do we even explain Nikki and her friends. She had so many that we are still meeting new ones every day. As we said before Nikki met people easily and formed friendships immediately. She loved to be there for her friends when they needed someone to lean on. Her desire to help those in need is what gave her the idea to become a nurse. She was planning on starting college early in January 2011 and enroll in a nursing program. Her friends were vital to her and the love she showed them is reciprocated even now.
Overall Nikki was the type of kid that a parent would be proud to call daughter and we are. She was a strong, determined, beautiful, kind, fun and incredible young lady. She is greatly missed, but we must go on in her memory and live for her.