Elsie (Mitchell) Dobbs 11.9.1908 – 5.8.1999

ElsieMElsie began learning dancing and acrobatics at the age of 5 with Miss Chrissie Royal, and soon went on the stage. Elsie became one of a troupe of 6 children called The Royal Wonders. The troupe later became known as the Fullers 11 Wonders, as Sir Benjamin Fuller changed their name when they began appearing in his pantomime productions.

The children’s ages ranged from 6 – 16. Elsie travelled with the troupe on many occasions. She told of how they mostly visited convent schools, where they would put on a concert at the end of the day. After leaving the Wonders at the age of 16 Elsie moved into Vaudeville.

She performed in many shows with Kit and Con Moreni, among others, and travelled interstate here in Australia and also to New Zealand. Elsie stayed on stage until she married in 1928, when she then commenced teaching for a few years. She had 2 children, Kevin and Beverley. In 1949 she commenced BBO and Federal Tap examinations, which was where her association with Dorothy Cowie began. In the early 1950’s Elsie started teaching with her cousin Thelma Duff in Roselle, which began her association with SATD and Pat Cavanagh.

When Thelma retired Elsie took over the studio. Elsie and Dorothy then started to promote the organisation, with Elsie travelling to Qld in 1955 to talk to teachers and encourage them to join SATD. Elsie became an Examiner for SATD in 1958. Her great pleasure was encouraging the young teachers and sharing her knowledge with them. When the interstate branches became larger Dorothy and Elsie often travelled together to examine.

They shared many happy times on their travels. Elsie retired from teaching in the 1970’s and continued to examine for a few more years. Elsie never lost interest in dancing and was made a Life Member of ATOD in 1994. The other great pleasures in Elsie’s life were her 5 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.