Tragic Loss of a Young Ballerina

Ella Riley Adler, a 15-year-old ballerina from Miami, met with a tragic accident while water skiing with her friends. Her untimely death has left the world mourning the loss of her vibrant energy and spirit. Let’s delve deeper into this heartbreaking incident that occurred in southern Florida.

Remembering Ella Riley Adler

Ella, a student at Ransom Everglades School, possessed an astonishing level of discipline and focus that exceeded her young age. She was a talented ballet dancer and had participated in over 100 productions of The Nutcracker with the Miami City Ballet. Ella had a magnetic presence that drew people towards her. Her infectious love and joy were evident to all who were fortunate enough to cross her path.

On May 11, 2024, tragedy struck while Ella was celebrating a friend’s birthday at Key Biscayne’s Nixon Beach. While being towed by a boat after water skiing, she was struck by another boat that callously sped away from the scene. This hit-and-run incident on the water highlights the shocking lengths some people can go to commit such horrific acts, even away from land.

Despite wearing a life vest and ski boards on her feet at the time, Ella was left stranded in the water. Emergency officials rushed to her aid, witnessing the crystal-clear waters turning red with her blood. The scene was a testament to the magnitude of the tragedy that unfolded that day.

At Ella’s funeral, family and friends gathered to pay their respects to the extraordinary young dancer. People spoke of Ella’s ambition and her undeniable presence on stage, where she thrived. The pews at Temple Beth Sholom in Miami Beach were filled with mourners who came to honor the memory of a girl who dreamed of one day becoming the President of the United States.

One of Ella’s emotionally overwhelmed friends addressed the attendees, expressing admiration for Ella’s qualities. She lovingly recalled Ella’s passionate faith, deep love for her family and friends, and the extraordinary love everyone had for her. The void left by Ella’s absence was immense, but her memory would forever be cherished.

During the memorial service, Ella’s aunt read a heartfelt letter that included words from Ella’s younger sister, Adalynn. Adalynn wrote, “I will always have you in my heart” as a tribute to her big sister. In the letter, Ella’s father, Matthew Adler, shared the sentiment that Ella embodied the best qualities of both her parents. He lamented the loss of all the incredible achievements Ella could have accomplished but assured everyone that her energy and spirit would live on through her loved ones.

The service was led by Rabbi Jonathan Berkun, who described Ella as a star and a force of nature. He emphasized that in remembrance of Ella, she should be celebrated for the powerhouse of charm, talent, and love that she was. Though Ella’s time with us was cut short, her impact on the lives of those around her was immeasurable.

As the search for the boat’s operator continues, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) appeals to the public for any information about the vessel involved in the hit-and-run. They are offering a total reward of up to $20,000, including a contribution of $5,000 from Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers.

Let us honor Ella Riley Adler and the joy she brought into the world. May her soul rest in peace.