Who is Bethany Mota? The 'Dancing' contestant you've probably never heard of

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">Bethany Mota offers tutorials on easy back-to-school hair styles in her most recent YouTube video. (Bethany Mota/YouTube)</span></div>
You may not know who Bethany Mota is, but your tween daughter probably does. The 18-year-old California native is the first person to appear on 'Dancing with the Stars' that fully credits her fame to the Internet. And while she doesn't have any Olympic medals and you don't remember her from your favorite '80s or '90s sitcom, Mota is a celebrity in her own right with a loyal following that could be a game-changer on a show that requires viewer votes to stay alive. Here's what you need to know about the breakout star of the new season of 'Dancing with the Stars' that you've never heard of.

Mota is a YouTube celebrity
Mota has built up a massive following based largely on her YouTube videos, where she posts about fashion, beauty and DIY projects mainly targeted at girls ages 14 to 17. Many of her videos feature her showcasing purchases from her latest shopping trip, a genre known as "haul" videos.

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More than 7 million people subscribe to her YouTube channel. But there are also those who can't wait for Mota to post her next video; almost 2 million people follow her on Twitter and 3.8 million follow her on Instagram for updates on her daily activities.



All these followers translate into big business. At 18 years old, Mota already has a fashion line with young adult retailer Aeropostale and has been a guest judge on 'Project Runway.' Fast Company reported experts saying ad revenue from her YouTube videos could bring in between $500,000 and $750,000 annually.

She can thank the haters for her success
Mota started posting videos to YouTube in 2009 at a low point in her life.

"I was also being bullied at the time, so I kind of didn't really want to do anything," Mota told Fast Company. "I just wanted to stay inside."

Mota says YouTube was a place where she saw girls being positive. But it took the California native a while to find the authentic "real girl" voice that has become such a staple of her brand.

"At first, I made beauty videos that were like everyone else's -- I'd try to act perfect," Mota told Seventeen Magazine in their October issue. "But then I realized it might be more fun if I was just myself. So I showed my silly side and kept in the bloopers."

Mota is a serious threat on the dance floor
Mota has been paired with five-time champion Derek Hough on the new season of 'Dancing with the Stars,' so there's an expectation that she will go far in the competition. In their first performance, the judges gave the couple a 32 out of 40 for their jive, placing them in a tie for third out of the 13 couples. Now we'll just have to wait and see if her loyal online following translates to votes.

Bethany Mota and Derek Hough

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entertainmentdancing with the starsABCABC premieresyoutubesocial mediateenagersballroom dancing



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