Dorothy began dancing at the age of 4 in Auburn. She learnt “Fancy Dancing” not Classical Ballet. At the age of 14, Dorothy began to study dancing seriously. In 1953-54 she travelled to London to complete her studies. She studied under Mr. Espinosa for the British Ballet Organisation, Phyllis Bedells for the Royal Academy of Dance and with Adelaide Caulder for her Highland Degree.
Her qualifications included: Advanced British Ballet Organisation; Advanced Royal Academy of Dance; Licentiate Cecchetti Society; Fellow Society of Australian Teachers of Dancing; Highland Degree ‘member of United Kingdom Professional Teachers of Dancing Alliance’ and Teacher Diploma in Operatic Dance Teachers Society. Dorothy began teaching in Burwood in 1937, was appointed as an Examiner in 1940 and in 1957 built her own studio in Burwood.
The maximum number of pupils in one year was around 500, her oldest student was still dancing at 67 years of age. Many ex-students became well known – Donna Wilson, star of the movie ‘Shiralee’, as well as many students going on to The Australian Ballet School, Queensland Ballet Company and several went on to the British Ballet School and performed in many famous ballets with them. Many have also been employed in TV, Film and commercials, and the ABC frequently called on Miss Cowie’s pupils to provide dance segments for their children’s programs.
During the 2nd World War Dorothy was a member of a concert party who entertained troops at camps throughout the metropolitan area. In the last 50’s early 60’s she formed Ballet Classique, giving performances in shopping centres and nursing homes that delighted many people. At the time of Dorothy’s death she was Foundation member and Honorary Life Member of SATD; Foundation Member, Honorary Life Member and Patron of ATOD; Foundation Member and Honorary Life Member of SODA, Honorary Member of the Imperial Society of Dance Arts (Cecchetti).
Miss Cowie did not have any children of her own, and yet WE were all her children.