Student of the Month ‘lucky to have a supportive family’

By Katie Farrell
Times-News correspondent 

Doria Worden, a freshman at Western Alamance High School, is Student of the Month for April 2013. / Photo submitted

   Doria Worden, a freshman at Western Alamance High School, has endured surgeries and medical procedures due to scoliosis, but she doesn’t let that slow her down her hamper her dreams.
Betsy Walker, owner and dance instructor at Burlington Dance Center, nominated her for April’s Student of the Month. She is the daughter of David and Diane Warden of Gibsonville. Her sister, Danja, is a senior at Western.
Teens & Twenties:  What made you nominate Doria?
Betsy Walker: Doria is one of those rare students I’ve had the privilege to teach who loves dance so much she wants it to be a part of her life forever. Doria not only is a beautiful dancer, but she is developing her choreography skills and is very talented. Besides being a talented dancer in ballet, she is accomplished in other genres including contemporary and jazz. Doria is also very organized so she is able to work quickly when choreographing; she does her homework before arriving at the studio. She also communicates well with the other dancers and is able to inform them of what she wants in her dances. Doria is respectful and treats all students with kindness. The students really admire and love her. So do I.
Teens & Twenties: How have your problems with your back affected you? Are there times where you just want to give up?
Doria Worden: My back is an interesting subject. I’ve had scoliosis since the second grade and have been wearing a brace since the fourth grade, but it is all over now. There were some hard times when I just wanted to know, why me? But the truth is that I am very lucky. I have the best family that supports me and helps me through everything, and I was and still am able to do everything that I wanted to do. Now, after the surgery on March 8, I am straight and two inches taller and no matter how long it takes me to fully recover, I will recover. I don’t want scoliosis to be what defines me because it will never stop me from doing what I love to do. I am relieved that I never again have to worry about my back, and I am grateful that it is the only thing I have ever had to deal with.
Teens & Twenties: What are some of your recent achievements?
Doria Worden: I received a full merit-based tuition scholarship to Richmond Ballet’s five-week Summer Intensive as well as being accepted to Boston Ballet and San Francisco Ballet’s summer intensive programs. My first choreography, Temptations, which was performed at Burlington Dance Center’s Winter Concert, was adjudicated at the North Carolina School of the Arts and performed at the Stevens Center on Feb. 24 as part of the NC Festival of Dance. I will be choreographing two more pieces for Burlington Dance Center’s Spring Concert on May 22 and 23, a George Balanchine-inspired ballet piece and a contemporary piece, which I am so excited about.

 Katie Farrell is sophomore at Graham High School and a Teens & Twenties writer.

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