The Healing Horse, Ch. 34, Scene 2: Big Hugs

mWell… this is unusual. First, her dance teacher offers extra lessons for free, and then he says he wants to be her father. Shows how hard work and a positive attitude can pay off. Not just for young Karen. It will pay off for everyone when she grows up and teaches. Here’s a video of grown-up me leading an exercise class for people with disabilities.

Scene 2: Big Hugs

At the studio, Mama and Angie hugged hello.

Gilberto came out of his office. “Katie, I’ve been wanting to talk with you about Karen, and this is a good time.”

She followed him into a small room with a table pushed against a wall for a desk, a couple of chairs, and a filing cabinet. They both sat down. She thought about what he had just said. Should she worry? Was he going to say her daughter was not making enough progress to continue? But he was grinning.

Gilberto looked her in the eye. “Your little girl is much stronger. Her posture is straighter, and she can transition between steps. Her left leg is carrying weight better. I’m impressed. A lot of kids start dance lessons full of enthusiasm, but then lose interest. But a few really love dancing. They practice at home and never miss a lesson. They become stars or teachers when they grow up, and your Karen is one.”

“So you’re happy with her progress? I was afraid…”

He smiled and touched her shoulder. “She’s doing great. In fact, I’d like to give her more lessons.”

“I don’t think I can afford…”

“What I mean is, sometimes a student gets sick or has to miss a lesson. I rarely know until an hour before, when the mom calls. You live close. Maybe you could bring Karen over. She could get the time slot. No charge.”

Katie felt her eyes fill with tears and cleared her throat. “She’d love that. She’s home from school about three, so after that would be fine. You really feel she has potential?”

“Yes. And you should see how the other students respond to her. They want to dance like Karen. To them, she’s not disabled. She’s an inspiration. Dance can change her life, and she can use dance to change the world.”

“That’s my girl. She’s full of life, and she never gives up.”

Gilberto smiled again. “From now on, she’s my girl, too. I’ll do whatever it takes for her to succeed.”

Original text ©2023 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.


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