Gay Porter

Artistic Director

Directing the Charlotte Youth Ballet for 33 years, Gay Porter has dedicated her life to dance. Mrs. Porter was trained at the Arts Educational School in London, England and began her professional career at Stratford-on-Avon in a musical version of Wind in the Willows. As a member of the British Equity, her career took her to the British Isles and London’s West End for the original productions of The King and I and Kismet. She also danced in Spain with Festival Ballet, the Ballet de M. Grandjear and in Germany. Mrs. Porter’s vast dance career included film and television, and she swam and danced in the Esther Williams Spectacular in London.

After coming to the United States, Mrs. Porter danced with the Southern California Ballet. She then moved to Charlotte and danced for six seasons as a resident member of the Charlotte Summer Theater, performing in a different musical every week at Ovens Auditorium. Mrs. Porter has directed works with the Charlotte Regional Ballet, the Central Piedmont Community College and the Charlottetown Players. Her credits include The Hollow Crown, The Glass Menagerie, l’Enfant Prodigue and Trial by Jury. Mrs. Porter has choreographed many Charlotte Opera productions, the Lollipop Concerts with the Charlotte Symphony, and over thirty ballets for Youth and Regional Ballets. She founded the ballet department at Central Piedmont Community College where she taught for thirteen years.

As Artistic Director of the CYB, Mrs. Porter has created and/or produced over 30 Nutcrackers and numerous storybook ballets. In addition to her non-profit work, Mrs. Porter continues to operate and teach at her highly reputed school, the Charlotte School of Ballet. She has prepared many dancers for professional or pre-professional careers; and she has been a role model and mentor for hundreds of others. In 1994, Mrs. Porter received the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts Teacher of the Year Award.