Katie’s mom, Dina looked on as Mrs. Langford tried to teach Katie and Clark a few simple dance steps. The plan was for her to choreograph a dance routine for them that would accomplish a couple of things. It would be an excellent activity for Katie who needed to strengthen her leg muscles and improve her coordination. Secondly, their performance would be enjoyable entertainment for the residents of the nursing home and hospice care facilities near them.
This first rehearsal was not going well. Clark was too embarrassed and timid to put much into it and Katie was upset because she wanted to dance with Arf.
Dina wondered how she could help the situation. At this rate, it would be months before they would be ready to put on a show.
“Step, step, step, kick…Step, step, step, kick,” Mrs. Langford instructed. “Come on you two. Put some life into your movements, and for goodness sake, smile!! This is supposed to be fun.”
Arf: This was your idea Annie. So now what are you gonna do?
Annie: Your the one who thinks he’s the regular Arf Astaire of the dog world. Clark isn’t really into the stepping and kicking thing and Mrs. Langford’s teaching voice is hard to listen to. Let me try something.
Annie went over to Clark and stood beside him. Then she turned to look at him and after she began with a quiet “ruff,” she marched ahead three steps before kicking her right front paw. She did the same thing two more times before going back to stand beside Clark who was laughing at the little dog’s antics.
“I get such a kick out of you, Annie,” Clark said.
Everyone in the room laughed and the ice was broken. Not to be left out, Arf joined in on the fun, while Mrs. Langford clapped her hands and continued with her mantra.
“Ruff, step, step, step, kick…Ruff, step, step, step, kick…Marvelous,” she exclaimed. You’re all in perfect form.”
“Can Arf and Annie dance with us?” Katie asked.
“Why of course they can.”
Mrs Langford was in her element. This was just what she needed to motivate her to get back into living her life. Who knows, maybe her husband would be willing to play the piano for them.
Dancing, singing, guitar and piano music…what a show this was going to be. And they all had Arf and Annie to thank for literally moving them forward.
“This is a start,” Mrs. Langford said. “But we’ve all got a lot of work ahead of us. Now, one more time… Arf and Annie, would you get us started please?”
Arf and Annie: Ruff
When the dance rehearsal was over, Clark stayed behind. After everyone was gone, he picked up his guitar and began to play and sing.
Dina, Mrs. Langford, and Katie were walking down the hall and heard his sweet, pure voice. He was putting his heart into singing and playing.
Clark knew he had to let go of his fear about what lies ahead, and he needed to be free of bitterness about the past.
“Can we go back,” Mamma?” Katie asked.
(If you would rather not have your sound on, mute this and read the words. They are very meaningful considering what is going on in our world today. Our high school choir sang this song. That wouldn’t be allowed today.)