History of The Belmont School of Ballet

The Belmont School of Ballet began in 2006 as an extension of the Charlotte School of Ballet which was founded in 1968 by Gay Porter. The Belmont School of Ballet offers the highest levels of instruction in classical ballet, tap, and jazz. Teachers are qualified and experienced in teaching both children and adults. Classes are offered for students aged 3 to adults. The ballet curriculum is based on both the syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance, London, England and the Cecchetti Council of America. Classes are also offered in pointe, variations, tap, jazz, modern, and Pilates. Performing is an important aspect of dancers’ training. We seek opportunities to perform throughout the community as well as full-length story ballets. Ballet instruction offers students skills that can be used throughout their lives. Poise, grace, discipline, and self-confidence are invaluable assets.

Gay Porter

Artistic Director

Gay was trained in London, England at the Arts Educational School. Her classmates included Ben Stevenson, former Artistic Director of the Houston Ballet and David Howard known as “Teacher of the Stars” in New York and London. After an extensive career in England, Spain, France and Germany Gay came to the United States where she danced in California before coming to North Carolina. As a choreographer Gay has worked with the Charlotte Symphony, the Charlotte Opera, the Singing Christmas Tree, Central Piedmont Opera and Theatre, Actors Theatre and the Charlotte Youth Ballet. Gay is a full teaching member of the Royal Academy of Dance, London, England and holds the Advanced Teachers Certificate of the Cecchetti Council of America. North Carolina School of the Arts honored Gay as: “Teacher of the Year” in 1994. Gay is the founder and Artistic Director of the Charlotte Youth Ballet. It is the premier performing company for young dancers in the area. Gay has directed and choreographed full length productions of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Nutcracker and Coppelia for the company. She has also created original ballets such as The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Thumbelina, and Pinocchio which she had also set on companies throughout the United States.

Bridget Porter Young

Artistic Director

As a child Bridget was selected to dance with New York city Ballet and Baryshnikov for the Washington Season. During this time she was invited to perform at the White House for President Carter. She has danced with Louisville Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre and Ocala Ballet. She toured the United States performing industrial shows and spent many summers performing in summer stock including roles such as Jeannie in Brigadoon, and Dream Laurie in Oklahoma. She also appeared on All My Children and Guiding Light while living in New York. Bridget has choreographed many short works, ballets and musicals including South Pacific, The King and I, Once Upon a Mattress, Barnum and Big River. She also choreographed and directed The Nutcracker for Pueblo Ballet. Bridget holds the Teaching Certificate of the Royal Academy of Dance, London, England and is a Licentiate of the Cecchetti Council of America. She is the Ballet Mistress for the Charlotte Youth Ballet, and the Chair of the Cecchetti Council of America, Southeast Committee.

Skyla Caldwell


A.R.A.D (Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance), trained at the Charlotte School of Ballet under Gay Porter Speer and The Point Park Conservatory in Pittsburgh, PA, as a scholarship student under the direction of Roberto Munoz. She has danced for Charlotte Ballet as an apprentice under Salvatore Aiello and Jerry Kumery. Caldwell has also danced at the National Ballet of Cuba under Laura Alonzo in Havana, Cuba, and is associated with the Royal Academy of Dance in London. Caldwell has also danced with the Moving Poets Theater of Dance for t eight years and is currently Ballet Mistress for The Union County Youth Ballet in Monroe, NC.

Anna Patterson


Anna Patterson began her classical ballet training at the Belmont School of Ballet under the direction of Gay Porter and Bridget Porter Young where she studied and was examined in the Royal Academy of Dance and the Ceccetti method. In 2016, Anna was invited by Gelsey Kirkland to attend the professional year-round program at the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet in New York City. There, she was trained in the Vaganova and Bournonville method. At eighteen, Anna received her first professional contract to join the U.S International Ballet and became one of the company’s founding members. There, she had the privilege of dancing many roles varying from corps de ballet to soloist. In 2019, Anna joined Columbia Classical Ballet Company where she danced in numerous ballets including Giselle, Coppelia, The Nutcracker, Red Riding Hood, and The Wizard of Oz. Anna is still dancing and enjoying teaching and hopes to inspire the joy of ballet in the next generation.

Phillip McRorie


Phillip McRorie is a graduate of the Dance Studies program at Appalachian State University where he studied modern, ballet, and other dance styles. After graduation, he peformed and choreographed with Verge Dance Collective, the Asheville Ballet, and Caroline Calouche and Co. He has also taught with and choreographed for a variety of organizations throughout North Carolina and is excited to continue working with the Belmont School of Ballet and Charlotte School of Ballet.