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Rockin’ Red: Finding success in children’s entertainment

Leslie Dolby has wanted to perform her entire life.

Dolby, who lives north of Tea with her husband and two young children, grew up in Arlington, S.D., went to college in Indiana for music and then moved to Nashville, Tenn., to pursue her music dreams. She spent four years in Nashville interning for Dreamworks Records in the publishing department.

“I dabbled a little bit with songwriting down in Nashville,” she said. “We wanted to move closer to family to have our own family.”

That’s when she and her husband moved to Sioux Falls eight years ago. Today they have a second grader and a junior kindergartner at Frontier Elementary.

While they live in the Sioux Falls district, they open enrolled their kids to Tea Area to have their kids in a smaller school.

“I love Tea. I feel a part of this community. We wanted that smaller district and small town feel. I grew up in Arlington and that’s what we wanted,” Dolby said.

Today, she keeps her music dreams alive by substituting in the district for music classes and performs under her stage name Rockin’ Red.

Her first performance as Rockin’ Red came in June 2016. Before that she had some other children’s music performing experience through a group called Do Re Let’s Play.

Last year she performed eight shows at the Country Apple Orchard. She performs her shows for business holiday parties, fall festivals, birthday parties, libraries, fairs and festivals. On May 5 she performed for the junior kindergarten and kindergarten students at Frontier Elementary.

She writes and performs her own music. Dolby recorded a CD in March with all of the children’s songs she performs live.

At her shows, she gets kids up and moving with the help of scarves, egg shakers, hula hoops and bubbles.

“One of the most popular songs is ‘Hip Hop Hula Hop’ and I do a little rapping in it and I have hula hoops the kids use during the show and that’s part of the song,” Dolby said. “I have another song called ‘Bubble Brigade’ and I have bubble machines and the kids pop the bubbles and stomp on the bubbles. [I have] a lot of songs with actions and dance moves to get them up and moving.”

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