The Healing Horse, Ch. 37, Scene 2: The New Class

Image of welcome mat made with pink glitter

In the previous scene, young Karen’s teacher (Al Gilbert in real life) promotes her to a more advanced dance class. Her devotion and determination are paying off. But how will the other students in the new class react to her? Read and find out…

(Image by Damu ravindra pawar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Scene 2: The New Class

The next day, as Mama drove her through the afternoon traffic from school to Gilberto’s, Karen stared out the window in silence. Would the students in the new class accept her, or would they tease her because of her disability? What if she could not dance as well as Gilberto thought? She shook her head and cleared these negative thoughts from her mind. Gilberto would never put her into an embarrassing or humiliating situation. And she was ready for anything.

Mama parked. “Sweetheart, enjoy your new class. I have errands to run. See you in an hour.”

Mama would not be at the class. Karen would be alone. That was a surprise. No. Gilberto would be there at her side. She would be fine. Karen forced a smile. “Okay, Mama.”

She grabbed her dance case and ran through the studio door and into a changing room. A few minutes later, she walked down the hall. It seemed longer and darker than usual. Gilberto’s voice came muffled through a door, followed by the giggles of girls. Her new class. She took a deep breath and stood up straight.

Suddenly, the door opened, and a tall red-haired girl smiled at her. “Hi! I’m Ginger. You must be Karen. I’ve seen you around but never got to meet you.”

She stuck out her hand, and they shook. Then the dozen other girls and boys in the class took turns welcoming her. She felt at home with them.

Gilberto beamed. “Class, this is Karen. She just earned a promotion to your class, and she’s gonna do great! Let’s dance.”

Karen took her usual place at the barre and followed along as Gilberto demonstrated the dance routine the class had been working on before the break.

“You’re all doing great! You’re looking good. Let’s everyone move to the center of the studio so we can practice our routine. Remember to listen to the music and the beat.”

He turned on the music. “It’s a one and a two and a hop…”

The class leaped into motion, and Karen kept up with them. For her, it was a new routine, but she knew all the steps, and Gilberto’s demonstration had burned it into her memory.

She felt almost as if she were in a dream, watching her body perform the steps with grace. The long hours of practice were bearing fruit. She was dancing. She was becoming a dancer. As long as she could practice, she could learn anything. Her self-doubts melted away.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *