The Healing Horse, Ch. 32: Finding Gilberto

Photo of Jackie Gleason with June Taylor Dancers

This scene begins a new chapter in the book and a new chapter in little Karen’s life, as she blossoms into a beautiful young lady and an accomplished dancer.

(Image by CBS-TVUploaded by We hope at en.wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Scene 1: The Definitive Moment

Two weeks later, Karen let out a deep sigh as she watched the June Taylor Dancers do their kaleidoscope routine on TV. Saturday night meant The Jackie Gleason Show on CBS and seeing the dancers always made her heart sing. When Jackie came on for his monologue, she did her best to repeat the dancers’ moves. The show continued, but she ignored the antics of Ralph Kramden and his neighbor, Crazy Guggenheim. She wanted to do what the dancers did. 

Mama watched from her easy chair. She had noticed Karen’s love of dance from when she was a baby squirming in time to music. When Karen learned to stand, her right foot tapped with the music, and she did her best to dance like the professionals she saw on TV. Karen’s favorite shows all featured dance. She loved Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, and Dean Martin. The Radio City Rockettes were her favorites. And in movies, she could not get enough of Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Cyd Charisse. Karen wanted to see every dance concert Mama could afford. Leslie Caron, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Cyd Charisse, Rudolf Nureyev, and Margot Fonteyn were her heroes. She loved every kind of dance, from ballet to modern and tap. 

But tonight was different. Karen was growing up and doing things the doctors said she would never do, including an excellent imitation of June Taylor’s dancers. 

Why didn’t I think of this before? My Krana Layala has the soul of a dancer, and it’s time for her to manifest it. If she can ride a horse, she can dance! 

Original text ©2022 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

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