Fewer than 60 paces away from the Turlington Preacher and his “Jesus saves” cross, Dennis Kane dances.
He struts and sways on the plaza, one day in a neon blue miniskirt with a yellow and magenta V-neck, another day in a red crop top and black Daisy Dukes.
“What is your name?” asked an old woman who later leaves with the preacher.
“Dennis,” he said.
“I will pray for you, Dennis,” she said as she walked away.
Kane, 36, stood with his toned legs crossed together tightly on Turlington Plaza, his hands on his hips and white headphones over his ears.
He says “hi” to passers-by at random. He says he wants to make eye contact with everybody.
He preaches a doctrine of love.
“Me and that guy have the same mission in life,” Kane said of the nearby preacher. “We’re both trying to inspire people. The bottom line is, can’t we all get along?”
He said that when he started dancing there during Summer A, people gawked and laughed. Now they expect it.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Kane waves his arms and sways his hips on the plaza. He listens to the Backstreet Boys, U2, Lady Gaga, Sufjan Stevens, Hanson, Angels and Airwaves or maybe Alicia Keys.
A tour guide laughed awkwardly as her group walked past Kane dancing. She made it clear to her visitors that “anybody can do anything” in the free speech zone.
Raised in Carrollwood, outside Tampa, Kane came to UF in 1993 but dropped out after two years. He said the engineering courses “drove me crazy — a lot of crazy.”
After that, he said, he had a stint in the Army before moving to San Diego in 1999, where he was a bike taxi driver.
He wouldn’t talk about his current employment situation, saying his “income source is a bit of a political hot potato.”
He used to flash the peace sign at the University of California, Los Angeles, in an area similar to Turlington Plaza. During the Fall 2011 semester at UCLA, he earned the nickname “Peace Guy.”
He said he began wearing women’s clothes in January and began dancing at UCLA that semester.
“People automatically assume I’m gay,” Kane said. “But this persona has been engineered.”
He said he wants to appear attractive but in a different way than other guys. He said he thinks it works because lots of girls approach him and gush about his muscular legs.
He only wears “skirt-type things” on campus, he said. He shops at Goodwill and alongside women at Target mostly.
Kane said he dances on the plaza to promote “intentional communities,” which he said are communities of love, where people take care of their bodies by eating healthy and staying in shape.
He said he walks 80 minutes from his home near the Interstate 75 exit and Archer Road every day because he wants to be there for people at UF.
He said about 10 people talk to him every day, from one sentence to an hour.
Kane started a website two weeks ago, at luvluvluv.info. He said he’s seen a huge growth in hits.
Ashlea Joiner, an 18-year-old psychology freshman, read his website after seeing him on Turlington Plaza.
“It’s a little weird because I don’t think he goes here anymore, but it’s not a big deal,” she said, peering through her sunglasses across the plaza at Kane one morning last week.
Kane said he’ll continue to dance on Turlington Plaza to inspire people until he feels his “love revolution” has caught on.