Pint-sized ballerinas put on big show despite disabilities


FAIR LAWN, N.J. — When it comes to being graceful, your average swan has nothing on these girls.

They’re students from the Children’s Therapy Center in Fair Lawn, New Jersey and they’re getting ready for the most exciting day of the year — their annual ballet recital.

The pint-sized dancers who have a wide range of developmental disabilities, sway and twirl with the help of aides.

The smiles however, that’s all them.

The recital, which is now in its ninth year, is the brainchild of Lynn Barral, a pediatric physical therapist at the school who wanted to bring a sense of normalcy to the children who struggle day to day.

“No matter what their ability is, the children know that there is something special and exciting happening for them,” Barral who is an assistant director at the school, told PIX11 News. “I think that is so thrilling.”

“For many parents this is really the only opportunity the children may [get] to have this type of experience to be in a recital,” she said. “Its just a very heartwarming experience.”

After finding the right music, selecting all the perfect gowns and nailing every last pirouette in what’s a year-long process for the staff at the Children’s Therapy Center, the big day finally arrived Tuesday.


With good reason, it’s standing room only for a performance mothers like Elana Lefkovitz thought wouldn’t be possible for her daughter Kayla who was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome, a neuro-genetic disorder.

“It really is a dream come true to see her participate in something that I see so many other children participate in and it really wouldn’t have been able to happen except here,” Lefkovitz said.

Meanwhile, fellow-mom Jennifer Bauer shared the same sentiment.

“I’m extremely proud to be her mother,” she said. “It’s just one of those moments where you can just sit back and revel in everything and the accomplishments and how far she’s come.”

While ballet recitals may be a dime a dozen, this one is far from typical and the smiles prove just that.


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Categories: Feel Good

Author:Andrew Ramos

I'm a reporter in New York. I talk to people. We have a blast.


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