The Healing Horse, Ch. 33: Dancing with Gilberto, Scene 1: Dance Togs

photo of jacaranda blossoms against blue sky

Someone once said that clothes make the man, and in this scene, the dance outfit confirms Karen’s growing intuition of her destiny as a dancer.

(Image by Misaochan2, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Scene 1: Dance Togs

Karen opened the car door and stepped out into the front yard of the Topanga Canyon bungalow. The faint, sweet scent of the purple jacaranda blossoms billowing above her filled the air. Like the trees, she would soon burst into bloom.

Mama gave her a big smile and a wink. “Go ahead, my Krana Layala. I know what you want to do. I’ll start dinner, but remember to show me how you look.”

Karen hugged her before scooping up the shopping bag. On its side, bright red letters spelled out Dance Delight. In her bedroom, she laid out the contents on her bed—black leotard, pink tights, shiny new tap shoes.

As she undressed, she carefully pulled her tee shirt over her head without disturbing a single hair in the bun her mother had made that morning. The hairstyle told the world she was a dancer.

One at a time, she slipped her legs into the thick, opaque dance tights. Then she stretched into her leotard, like a cat waking up from a pleasant dream. Finally, she slipped on the black Capezio Mary Jane tap shoes and studied herself in her full-length mirror.


She stared and could hardly believe the dancer, who looked back into her eyes—almost a prima ballerina.

She twirled to the kitchen, and Mama applauded. “Mazel Tov! It’s the beautiful dancer Karen Lynn!”

They hugged again. “Dinner’s almost ready, my girl. Better change out of those clothes. You don’t want to show up for your first lesson with chicken soup down your front.”

Karen curtsied with a giggle and pirouetted back to her room. From the shopping bag, she took one last item, a small pink suitcase, just big enough to hold her dance togs and shoes.

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

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