Ms. Lister received her early training at the Elvie DeMarko School in Pensacola, Florida. She continued her studies in New York at the Swoboda School, (later known as the Ballet Russe School), under the guiding hand of Madame Swoboda. Her other illustrious teachers included Frederic Franklin, Anatole Vilzak, Edward Caton, Boris Romanoff, William Dollar, Bill Griffith, Leon Danelian and Igor Schwezoff. She also attended New York University and Hunter College before joining the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo company.
She danced with the Ballet Russe for 5 years and worked with such renowned stars as Alicia Alonso, Maria Tallchief, Nina Novak, Alexandra Danilova, Igor Youskevitch, Frederick Franklin, Leon Danelian and Leonide Massine.
After leaving the Ballet Russe, she continued to pursue, develop and expand her talents, and made guest appearances with numerous Civic Ballet and Opera Companies. She performed many of the famous pas de deuxs from various ballets and such roles as The Firebird with the New York Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony and the Hartford and New Haven Orchestras.
Her varied talents led her into musical theater where she performed on Broadway and Off-Broadway. She also appeared in summer and winter stock companies, Dinner Theaters and at the renowned Radio City Music Hall. She has worked in several theater positions advancing from the chorus of a musical to performing leading roles and to assisting directors and choreographers.
She began her teaching career at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. For two years she was on staff at the Kingsboro College of the Performing Arts, a college dedicated to the training of boys and girls at the college level. She was invited to join the teaching staff of the American Ballet Center, the official school of the Robert Joffrey Ballet Company. For 25 years, she not only headed the Children's Department, but also taught technique and variations classes to the advanced and trainee levels. She also found time to coach dancers for various jobs and competitions, and actors and actresses for dance roles in television and film work. In 1978 she was asked to return to Broadway to perform in Michael Bennett's musical Ballroom.
She has students performing in all mediums of dance from classical ballet companies to Radio City to Broadway and television. She was responsible for rehearsing 65 children for the New York performances of the Joffrey Ballet's Nutcracker.
She considers correct training from the Beginner level to the Advanced level to be of the utmost importance and the teaching of children to be her forte. She developed a Pre-Ballet teaching syllabus that has been used at the Joffrey School for over 25 years. She is featured in two published books, Going to my First Ballet Class by Susan Kuklin and And they Danced On by Waltraud G.Karkar. She is the co-author of the book, Conversations with Choreographers, published in 1996.
In 1997 Dorothy moved back to her hometown and is presently the Ballet Mistress and teacher for the Northwest Florida Ballet Company and is the dance coach for the Tate High SchoolÕs Chaparrals and Cadets. She has choreographed musical shows (Fiddler on the Roof, Annie Get Your Gun, Guys and Dolls, South Pacific) for Tate High School. She continues to teach for the Joffrey School's summer session. She was asked to be one of the prelimenary judges for the 1998 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1999, she taught Ballet master classes for PANOPLY, Huntsville's Festival of the Arts, and served as one of the judges for their 17th Annual Choreography Competition.