Even though Brown said people want to be entertained, she also knows that some of them want to learn, and she has a lot to teach.
Brown said she started dancing later than most do.
"I was in the 11th grade," she said. "My dance teacher saw me jumping around and thought there was some talent there. She encouraged me to think about it, then encouraged me to join her ballet club, and from there, I just got the bug."
Brown danced professionally through the 1950s and 1960s and worked with Sammy Davis Jr., Pearl Bailey and Cab Calloway during segregation and the slow process of integration that followed.
She started her first dance school in 1960, but by the end of the decade, many of her students were still having trouble getting dance work.
"So I thought if I started a little group and let them dance around the community, they'd get some experience while they were looking for jobs."
She laughed. "43 years later, I'm still doing that."
Some of the dancers stay with her for decades.
"My musical director was with me starting at the age of 10," she said.
Others have become teachers at her schools.
Brown said she has a lot of family through dance, which sounds a little strange to her because she doesn't come from a dance family. Brown's mother was a researching chemical engineer. Her father was a chef.
"And my grandfather was a minister," she said. "So you know there wasn't a lot of dance going on in my family."
Her life has been about trying to put dance into the lives of whoever wants it.
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.