ALVA Student Turns to Dance After Bullying

Originally aired on WVTM-TV – October 31, 2020

October is Bullying Prevention Month, if you didn’t know it, a time to focus and raise awareness on bullying.

Dorothy Brooks has overcome bullying at her school and turned that really tough time and energy invested in building her own talents as a world champion dancer. WVTM 13’s Brittany Dekker shares her inspiring message for all of us.

In the spotlight, Dorothy Brooks, the 11-year-old from Vestavia Hills, a multi-world title dancer. Her specialty: “Country western ballroom dance,” said Dorothy. Skilled and smooth on the dance floor, with her confidence shining just as bright. But it always hasn’t been that way.

“It’s really sad,” said Dorothy. “It made me feel like ‘Why me? Why pick on me?'”

Dancing has been an escape for Dorothy. Early on, she was bullied by her classmates for being bi-racial and adopted.

“I just thought I had no power because it’s not like the teachers were helping,” she said. “It’s not like the guidance counselors were helping.”

So, her parents enrolled her in dance classes for a positive outlet to make new friends, and switched Dorothy to an online public school, Alabama Virtual Academy, so she could keep up with her schoolwork and travel the world dancing.

“It’s really helped us be able to go [to] all these places,” she said, stomping out people with her boots and a little sparkle. She even has her own ballroom at home where she practices often, even with her dad.

She appreciates the support, as she trains for regional and national championships frequently as the youngest performer out there.

“I’m getting the feeling like ‘I’m doing this, something that makes me happy,'” said Dorothy, turning her tears from tough times into motivation and a message for other kids who are bullied.

To learn more about Alabama Virtual Academy, visit alva.k12.com

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