She was one of the first members of the Napac Ballet Company in 1964. She toured with the company in Natal and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), but soon felt she needed further challenges that only a larger and more competitive company could provide. She therefore joined Pact Ballet in 1965.
She started off in the corps de ballet and later earned principal status in 1968. A number of experienced dancers left the company, and Dawn was forced to dance some very difficult roles before she was physically and mentally prepared for them. Because of this, she was made to feel inferior as a classical dancer for many years and took a long time to loose the barriers of the inhibitions that she had developed. She danced the way that she felt other people wanted her to dance, because she was afraid of being hurt and she spent many years hiding behind a façade. Once she was encouraged to express her own individual talent, the quality of her work changed from dancer to artist.
Dawn was known as a non-conformist ballerina, as she developed characters in her own way and breathed new life into them. Her technique is based on the classical tradition, but she evolved a style that is uniquely her own.
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