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 and married her husband Dave. She 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 was invited to join Chicago based 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 improvised 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 Northwest side of Chicago under the flight paths of O’Hare Airport. There was a preschool at the corner, into which Dot marched and asked, “Can I teach preschool?” and the owners 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’s Early Childhood Education Department.
So helpful; I learned the amazing science of early childhood development, developmentally appropriate practices and classroom techniques.
The births of her two children 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 your own and realize you do NOT UNDERSTAND THEM AT ALL!
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 at conferences and training seminars across Illinois and on Zoom, sharing storytelling and comedy techniques to help teachers maintain a loving and spontaneous teaching style.
I love teachers!
Since 1997, Dot has performed a weekly in-house interactive television show for the Anne and Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
My daughter was a long term patient there. I’m honored to be able to provide some laughs and insight to the patients and families of that esteemed institution.
The pandemic opened an opportunity to “think outside the box.” She was invited to perform daily storytelling Zoom sessions for the families of NVIDIA, a tech company based in California. She had the distinct honor of trying and truing storytime techniques for interactive and meaningful Zoom encounters for families across the globe. Hundreds of Storytimes with Dot were Zoomed from her studio in Chicago to California, New York, Texas, North Carolina, India, and Israel.
I love my Zoom shows, and I’m not just saying that!
With in-person performances making their slow comeback, and with virtual performances as a fallback, Dot looks forward with great joy to continuing to entertain and educate young children and the people who care for them.