She became paralyzed! Now Riley teaches dance to special needs children!

Ms. Riley Weinstein is a dance instructor at the Santa Clarita School of Performing Arts who specializes in teaching special needs children to dance and move to music. Ms. Riley’s dance classes are designed to not only teach dance as an art form but also as a therapy and physical fitness tool and confidence builder for special needs children. In addition, Riley’s own journey from a Make a Wish child of special needs to dance instructor has been chronicled in the popular children’s book “The Big Ballet Recital”, a short story in “Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul”, an award winning documentary “Riley”, and is currently being developed into a screenplay “Yearning to Dance”.

Teaching dance to special needs children is a passion for Riley that started many years ago when at the age of 2 because of many surgeries to remove a brain tumor she became paralyzed with little hope of regaining the ability to move on her own or even communicate through speech. Over the next 12 years, moving to music and then dancing became the key to Riley’s amazing rehabilitation. For the past 4 years, Ms. Riley has shared her passion for dance with special needs children who would not be able to participate in the standard dance classes offered by most schools by providing dance classes specifically for children with special needs.

Ms. Riley Weinstein’s accomplishments are not limited to the dance classroom. Riley spends her time talking to groups about her inspirational journey, horseback riding, and continuing her education. In addition, Riley has won numerous community awards in academics, volunteer work, and horseback riding along with appearing as background talent on the show “Judging Amy” and a commercial called “Ten Fingers and Ten Toes”. However her newest passion and one of her most impressive accomplishments is her annual “Getting the Word Out” Benefit Concerts which raises scholarship funds for her dance students and provides needed information about special needs programs.

To Find out more information about Riley Weinstein, the “Getting the Word Out Benefit Concert”, or her dance classes at The Santa Clarita School of Performing Arts: Visit or email Ms. Riley at



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