Dorothy O’Neill is a native of Hillsborough, North Carolina. She grew up dancing under Orpah Hamlett at the Hillsborough School of Dance. During her years with Ms. Hamlett, Ms. O’Neill participated in multiple performance companies and competitions. She also participated in Ms. Hamlett’s Teacher Apprentice program, where she began learning how to effectively and safely teach various genres of dance and acrobatics to children. In high school, Ms. O’Neill became a junior member of Carolina Dance Masters. Ms. O’Neill continued her study of dance at the University of Richmond, during which time she became a full member of Dance Masters of America through certification exams. Since college, Ms. O’Neill has taught at many dance studios in Virginia and North Carolina, including the historic Bounds Dance Studio in Chapel Hill.
Additionally, Ms. O’Neill owned and operated Southern Elite Pageants, which became one of the largest child glitz pageant systems in the country under her ownership, from 2010-2016. During her time with Southern Elite, Ms. O’Neill appeared on TLC’s “Toddlers & Tiaras” as well as numerous documentaries and news articles regarding child pageantry, including several international documentaries. During her time traveling in pageantry, Ms. O’Neill continued to work with children on stage presence, confidence, and poise.
In 2016, Ms. O’Neill became licensed to practice law in North Carolina. She currently practices domestic law with Foil Law Offices. Ms. O’Neill also holds certification with the American Aerobic & Fitness Association, the Association of Professional Women, and the All Star Cheer Federation. Ms. O’Neill designed Hillsborough Cheer & Dance Company to provide children and teens a one stop shop where they can be part of a certified All Star Cheer program, and also a competitive dance program if they choose; and can also receive quality non-competitive training from certified teachers.