A Dundee dance teacher who taught generations of city youngsters over more than six decades has died only weeks after being diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Dozens of tributes have been paid to Doreen Winter of Dundee’s Dorwin School of Dancing, who died last Friday, aged 81.
Doreen, who would have been 82 on July 8, taught dancing in Dundee for 63 years and was teaching up until a week before lockdown.
Her daughter, Linda, travelled from her home in Perth, Australia, five weeks ago to be with her mum and said she would be very sorely missed.
“This is the end of an era. My dear mother has been a Dundee icon for many, many years,” she said.
“She meant so many things to so many different people, all positive.
“Mum just kept on dancing for as long as she could.
“She was teaching dance right up until a week before lockdown. She was a real trooper. I am so proud of her. She was a strong and very giving lady and everyone she taught loved her.
“She was a great role model for everyone she taught and I never saw her bitter or angry.”
Doreen was diagnosed with a terminal illness seven weeks ago and was told only four days later that there was no treatment available.
Linda said: “I had to get special permission to come home to be with her and she was absolutely delighted when I made it. I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to get here. I’m so glad I got to be with her at the end.
“She was delighted when on June 12 the girls from the Dundee Sparkletts twirling group managed to get along to see her through the window.
“She had a different story for each of the girls, that’s just what she was like. She was so uncomplaining about everything.
“I am a nurse back home in Australia and I can honestly say she was the easiest patient I have ever had.”
Doreen grew up in Downfield, the daughter of Tom Donaldson, who ran a bakery in Haldane.
She began competitive dancing at a very young age and started teaching when she was 19.
Doreen’s first love had been Highland dancing, which took her all over the world including Russia, America, China, Turkey and Italy as well as to other European cities.
Linda said: “She was heavily involved in cultural dance exchanges. She was also a dance examiner and travelled widely with that.”
As well as Highland dance, Doreen taught twirling, tap, line dancing and majorettes, and more recently was involved with the Dundee Sparkletts troupe.
Linda added: “Mum was a member of the Gay Gordon’s Dancers, Downfield Musical Society and her highland dancers, back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, were used on some of the Alexander Brothers shows and Ronnie Coburn shows across Scotland.
“She also sang across Scotland on some of these shows.”
Doreen also worked for a time as a silver service waitress in Dundee and in H Samuel the jeweller.
As well as Linda, Doreen had two sons, Keith and Alan, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
A spokesman for Dundee Sparkletts said: “She was an inspiration to everyone she met.
“The girls at Dundee Sparkletts loved going to her class each week learning lots of techniques while having fun.
“Not only was she their teacher, she treated every one of the girls as her own, building their confidence, encouraging them even when times were challenging and getting them all to believe in themselves.”
Doreen’s funeral, which is private because of Covid-19 restrictions, is to be held next week.