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Local Author Pays Tribute to Special Needs Dancer in Ballerina on Wheels

Dr. Cindy Zurchin
Dr. Cindy Zurchin

“Everybody can dance,” is Dr. Cindy Zurchin’s motto, and her new children’s book helps further that belief.

Zurchin is the founder and owner of Cynthia’s School of Dance & Music, located in Ross Township. Her book, Ballerina on Wheels: Amazing Ava’s First Dance Recital, about student Ava Allenberg, was published in April.

According to Ava’s mother, Lauren Price, Ava has cerebral palsy and dystonia, which affects movement and muscle tone. “When she was born in January of 2009, she suffered a traumatic brain injury at birth during delivery,” said Price. Ava’s dance journey started when her younger sister, Paisley, began taking lessons at Zurchin’s studio.

“When we brought Paisley to lessons, Ava would tag along. Ava always smiled and enjoyed watching the young dancers,” Price explained. One of the teachers, Sam Skobel, noted Ava’s joy in watching the other children.