The fantastic story of her life. From six to eighty-nine, she is better than ever, and still going strong! With legs like Betty Grable, the will of Joan of Arc, the spirit of a dozen younger performers many years her junior, and tapping feet like Eleanor Powell, Dorothy Dale Kloss is truly an inspiration to young and old.
From her early childhood days in Depression-era Chicago and the strict ballet tutelage of Madame Ludwig, to The Cummerford School of Dance and teaching Bob Fosse to tap dance, her career, journey, and survival as a multitalented show business performer and a survivor of cancer, Dorothy has displayed a life that is spirited, inspirational, uplifting and just plain amazing.
From her early days as a headliner at the age of fifteen in the famed Empire Room of Chicago’s Palmer House, touring throughout the U.S. and South America, appearing at The Strand Theatre in New York, with Frank Sinatra watching her from The Paramount across the street, to her accolades on TV, in newspapers and magazines, and in a show where she appeared twice daily, she can tap out rhythms that would mystify dancers sixty years her junior.
Many have claimed intimate and first-hand knowledge of Bob Fosse's early years, but none more accurate and real that Dorothy Hunn (her family name). She grew up on Ashland Avenue; he on Palina just two blocks away. They both were eager and willing dance students at The Cummerford School of Dance where Dorothy, being three years older and a dynamic tap dancer even then, was thrust into the position of “teacher” to the insatiable Fosse. They both shared their considerable talents in local theatricals for such outlets as The Knights of Columbus, and The Elks Club appearing as Dorothy Hunn and The Riff Brothers (a double act with Bob Fosse and Charles Grass). Many years later, as Fosse introduced Dorothy to a touring cast about to open a show at the Shubert Theatre in Chicago, he simply said, “Gang, this is Dorothy Dale, one of the greatest tap dancers you’ll ever see!”
From being a star performer in The Palm Springs Follies for fifteen years to receiving her very own star on The Palm Springs Walk of Stars, and starring at The Magic Castle in Hollywood, Dorothy continues to inspire, entertain, and encourage everyone she touches to be the best and enjoy every moment of every day.
Some life! Survivor, yes— contributor, definitely—wonderfully gifted, caring woman, you bet— and a spirit that would propel a thousand ships—that’s her. A life to admire, to explore, and one to inspire anyone to realize that age is truly a state of mind.