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About Dot Kane

Dot earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1983. (I was aiming to get a band degree and become a marching band director, but the Dance department offered me a full tuition waiver. What’s a piccolo player to do?)

She moved to the Eastern Sierra and lived in a little mountain ski town with her new husband, Dave, and hiked and skied and taught dance and fitness to all of the children and adults of Inyo and Mono Counties, California. (Growing up in St. Louis, Mo., I had never seen the mountains until Dave showed them to me and taught me how to backpack. It was spectacular. I love mountains!)

She landed a job with Child’s Play Touring Theater in 1988 and relocated to Chicago. For two years, she toured the country in a van with three other talented actors performing stories and poems written by children. (That was a blast! We sang and danced and improv’ed our way through original material written by elementary school kids. Great stuff; I really fell in love with the genius of the young child. I also got to experience the beauty of the East Coast for the first time.)

Hoping to start a family, Dot and her husband bought a house on the far Northwest side of Chicago under the flight paths of O’Hare-bound airplanes. There was a preschool at the corner, into which Dot marched and asked, “Can I teach preschool here?” and the owners accidentally said, “Sure!”  (Yikes! That was the hardest job I ever had. I loved kids, but I did not know how to handle them for eight straight hours. I got scared back to school to study Early Childhood Education.)

She continued her education at Triton College, where she took classes in Early Childhood Education. (So helpful; I learned things like developmentally appropriate practices and classroom techniques. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to be flicking them in the head!)

The births of her two children, daughter Ruby in 1992 and son, Kane, in 1994, gave Dot a new perspective on the complex joys and challenges of raising young humans.  (Dang-You think you understand kids, and then you have some of your own and realize you do NOT UNDERSTAND THEM AT ALL! But, they sure are amazing…)

Since then, Dot has been performing her solo storytelling show in schools, libraries and special events all over the Midwest.

She presents her teacher workshops, “Move It or Lose It” and “Fun With Junk” at conferences and training seminars across Illinois. (I love teachers: I’m so happy to share my tried and true techniques to help them develop and maintain a positive and joyful teaching style.)

Since 1997, Dot has performed a weekly in-house interactive television show on Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital’s unique television station, Skylight TV, which produces four live TV shows per week. (Ruby was a patient there as a neonate and several times during her young life. It’s great to be able to give back and to help create a homey and positive atmosphere for hospitalized kids and their families.)

Dot also teams up with the amazing and award-winning singer/songwriter Susan Salidor for the aptly named “The Dot and Susan Show.”  Check out our web-page. (Susan adds music to my stories and I add action to her songs. It’s an honor and a pleasure to perform with her.)

Most recently, Dot has been collaborating with Tracey Ellert and Mary Burzinski of Monkey Dog Media to create a new series of DVDs for very young children called, “What’s the Big Idea?” (Order it here, along with my 2002 solo DVD and my 2011 CD!)

Also in partnership with Monkey Dog, Dot is offering a brand new children’s fitness craze that combines storytelling, dance, yoga, comedy, and exercise for children called “Storycise!” (Available now at the Greater LaGrange YMCA and the Dance Center of LaGrange. Look for it at your local YMCA, elementary school PE program, health club or dance studio. If you don’t find it, call me!)