Amazing Ava Continues to Shine


Amazing Ava Continues to Shine

Cover of Amazing Ava children's book. A colorful illustration of Ava in a ballerina outfit on stage in her wheelchair dancing
Article by Jessica Briggs, Trust Administrative Manager, Achieva Family Trust

What is dance? Dance is defined as a sequence of rhythmic steps or movements usually performed to music, for pleasure, or as a form of social interaction. Two years ago, in June of 2020, we introduced you to Ava Allenberg, Amazing Ava as she is called by many. Ava loves to dance!

Dance is a way to improve one’s self-esteem. Dance is a way to focus on your physical health in a fun way. Dance is the non-verbal words of encouragement that Ava provides to others just starting their own dance journey. Dance is the social acceptance that you do not have to look like the person standing right next to you. Dance is a way for Ava to be center stage with all eyes focused on her. I could go on and on but you get the point.

Breaking down the boundaries of what a dancer looks like is step one. The next step is empowering others to follow their own dreams or to go out and try something new. That is what Ava is doing day in and day out.  Since Ava started dancing in the fall of 2019, she has inspired a handful of others to start dancing and to express themselves in ways that make them shine. Having our abilities be front and center is what is important.

To continue to inspire others, a children's book called Ballerina on Wheels - Amazing Ava’s First Dance Recital was written about Ava by Dr. Cynthia Zurchin, owner of Cynthia’s School of Dance.  Ava was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Neuromuscular Scoliosis, which impairs her ability to control the muscles that support the spine.  Ava uses a wheelchair for mobility and moves about the dance floor under the instruction of Sam Skobel, a teacher at Cynthia’s School of Dance.  The book provides encouragement and motivation by demonstrating that all things can be accomplished with determination.  The book is available on Amazon for purchase.

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