Gay Porter is directing the Charlotte Youth Ballet for the 33rd year. Prior to that she directed the Charlotte Regional Ballet from 1974-1980. Mrs. Porter founded the ballet department at Central Piedmont Community College where she taught for thirteen years.
Mrs. Porter was trained at the Arts Educational School in London, England. Her first professional job was at Stratford-on-Avon in a musical version of Wind in the Willows. As a member of the British Equity, she danced professionally for seven years, touring the British Isles for nine months at age 16, and danced in London's West End in the original productions of The King and I and Kismet. She danced in Spain with Festival Ballet, the Ballet de M. Grandjear, and toured Germany for four months.
Mrs. Porter also danced in film and television, and 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 moved to Charlotte where for six seasons she danced as a resident member of the Charlotte Summer Theater, performing in a different musical every week, all summer at Ovens Auditorium. As a director, Mrs. Porter has worked with 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. As a choreographer, Mrs. Porter's credits include many Charlotte Opera productions, the Lollipop Concerts with the Charlotte Symphony, and over thirty ballets for the Youth and Regional Ballets.
During her years as Artistic Director of the CYB, Mrs. Porter has created and/or produced over 30 Nutcrackers and numerous storybook ballets; 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 addition to directing the Charlotte Youth Ballet, Mrs. Porter continues to operate and teach at her highly reputed school, the Charlotte School of Ballet.
In May 1994, Mrs. Porter received the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts Teacher of the Year Award.