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Traci Gilchrest

Traci started her life as a dancer at a later age than most, the ripe old age of eleven. Ironically, she started out as a jazz dancer and only took a ballet class to improve her coordination. But ballet felt so natural to her that she decided to leave jazz dancing behind and focus on ballet.  With her dream of becoming a professional ballerina seemly out of reach, Traci enrolled at Texas Christian University after receiving a full dance scholarship. But before beginning her sophomore year she was offered a position at Hartford Ballet, and she decided college could wait.


Even though her work with North Carolina Dance Theatre has taken Traci away from her Texas home, little reminders of it are everywhere. For instance, her favorite room in her Charlotte home is her kitchen, which she remodeled by herself a few years ago using  tile for her countertops that she brought back all the way from El Paso.  Traci’s kitchen is the place where you are most likely to find her relaxing, laughing, and cooking.


Traci is equally comfortable with both classical and contemporary ballet, and she has had many roles created for her, including the Sugar Plum Fairy in Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s Nutcracker. Some describe the fourteen-season veteran as the ballerina of which little girls dreams are made. In all modesty she states she’s just a dancer; to her the ballerinas worthy of such praise are the likes of Margot Fonteyn and Patricia McBride.  Currently, Traci is transitioning to a life off the stage where she is excited to share her experiences and knowledge with a new generation of ballerinas.

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