World champion dancer Dorthy Brooks said dancing is what keeps her going, especially after experiencing bullying at school.
Dorthy, 10, has her own ballroom at her house, a place she says she can dance like no one is watching.
“Just being yourself and dancing by yourself without a partner is great,” said Dorthy. “I’ve been a three-time world champion and I do line dance and I’ve won a few times in that. I started line dancing about a year ago.”
Dorthy travels all over the world performing in Country Western ballroom competitions with partners that are way more experienced, but she can definitely keep up.
The first thing Dorthy hears as she gets ready is always her parents.
“Every time she gets on the floor, even if I’m recording, the first thing out of my mouth is ‘Go Dorthy’ just you smile,” father Conway Brooks said. “She makes me smile when she dances.”
But there was a time when Dorthy’s smile wasn’t there. It was because of bullying during a time in her life that is still emotional for her.
“A lot of people were bullying me and stuff like that and I just didn’t like that, and people k-12 don’t bully me,” Dorthy said.
“When she would come home and crying it was hard for us because she’s adopted and she already went through so much before she came to us and then for her to be going through more problems it really hurt,” mother Alicia Brooks said.
Dorthy’s parents took her out of the public school system and enrolled in the Alabama Virtual Academy. Now, she can travel the world dancing and keep up with her school work.
Her parents said they have their daughters smile back.
“She’s become more personally stable when it comes to interacting with people and I’ve actually watched her defend others out in public and when we go to events, she can carry on a conversation with anybody including the professionals,” Conway said.
And it shows on the dance floor.
To learn more about Alabama Virtual Academy, visit https://alva.k12.com/