Dorothy Lane was born into a family of storytellers in the Turkey Cove area of McDowell County in 1941. There was no electricity in Dorothy’s house when she was young. Later, when they had electricity, her family did not have a television. They told their own stories for entertainment. She remembers these stories, especially those told by an uncle who liked to sit in the yard spinning tales. For the past sixteen years, she has drawn on this experience in her work as a professional storyteller.
She moved to Rutherford County in 1958 and worked in the sewing industry for many years. In 1987, a friend from church asked her if she would be interested in performing as a storyteller, and that was the beginning of her formal storytelling career. She teamed up with Nancy Collins to tell stories as the Tale Twisters. Collins has since moved to Tennessee, and Dorothy usually works alone now. Family stories, Jack tales and Grandfather tales, and other stories she has collected form the base of her repertoire. Her stories are suitable for both children and adults. In addition to telling stories, Dorothy also teaches storytelling, with a specialization in techniques for telling stories to children.
Dorothy Lane has performed at libraries, festivals, schools, churches, and numerous other events both locally and throughout the area. Interweaving music with her stories, she plays a variety of musical instruments, and frequently involves the audience with the music and stories.
Dorothy Lane is available for performances and classroom presentations as a solo storyteller, to present workshops on storytelling, or with the musical group Sassafras Tea.