Arts Lifestyle

A Legacy at Ballet Theatre Company: Executive Director Tracy Dorman Retires

Tracy Dorman (with bouquet of flowers) has retired as executive director of Ballet Theatre Company. Courtesy photo

Tracy Dorman was involved with West Hartford-based Ballet Theatre Company since its inception more than two decades ago.

Tracy Dorman (third from left) has retired as executive director of Ballet Theatre Company. Courtesy photo

By Brianna Dunlap

Tracy Dorman, Ballet Theatre Company’s amazing executive director who has built BTC into the community asset that it is today, retired in August.

We acknowledge the wonderful leadership that Tracy, known as “Miss Tracy” by thousands of students, has provided over the last 17 years as the executive director. She will leave behind a legacy of leadership and advocacy that has had a significant impact on the lives of countless young ballet dancers and professional dancers alike.

Tracy Dorman has been with Ballet Theatre Company since its inception in 1999 and was appointed executive director in February 2005. She is a founding member of the Board of Directors and played a major role in the Company’s artistic and organizational development.

Tracy is most known for her nearly six decades of experience in costuming theater and dance productions. Mostly self-taught, her first costuming project was “Snow White” for a children’s theater company while she was still in high school. For the first five years of Ballet Theatre Company, she was the sole designer and costumer for all of the company’s performances, working with only a small crew of volunteers.

Tracy Dorman adjusts a costume. Courtesy photo

For the past 21 years, Tracy has contributed to Ballet Theatre Company’s costume repertoire with her extraordinary designs. From alterations to creating tutus from scratch, her costumes radiate on stage season after season. When asked how many costumes she has created for BTC, Tracy replied, “Too many to count – literally hundreds. There’s at least 30 classic tutus alone behind the office.”

Tracy is a 2014 honoree of the CT Dance Alliance Award for distinguished achievement in dance. In 2005, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism awarded her the Distinguished Advocacy Award for her longtime volunteerism in the arts.

What you may not know about Tracy Dorman – she is a photographer, world traveler, and dog lover.

Tracy Dorman is also a photographer who has visited every continent. Courtesy photo

Tracy has visited every continent on group or solo trips, always bringing her trusty camera because as much as she enjoys photographing dance, she also loves photographing wildlife. Tracy has photographed an African Safari, the Galapagos Islands, and brown bears in Katmai, Alaska. She has done more than one polar bear trip, seen Harp seals in the gulf of Saint Lawrence, and photographed birds in Costa Rica and the Pantanal of Brazil.

These days, Tracy is kept busy by her new canine, an Airedale and Shepherd mix named Marley (like the ballet flooring). And while she stepped down as the executive director, she will be helping with tutu costumes for BTC’s productions when she has time.

“We have been exceptionally proud and fortunate to have a person of Tracy’s caliber, possessed with such passion for ballet, commitment to the organization, and a true skill in costume-making,” says BTC Chair, Eric Brummitt. “During her time with BTC, Tracy was the kind of collaborator you always hope to work with. She’s done transformational work in growing BTC into this rich community, and she leaves an enormous legacy for us to carry forward.”

The BTC Board of Directors is taking careful steps to not miss a beat in its important work throughout a smooth and successful transition. The Board and staff thank Tracy for all the support and encouragement that she has given over the years to BTC.

In Tracy’s honor, BTC will launch a student scholarship fund to support the long-term dreams of young ballet dancers. Well-wishing cards for Tracy Dorman’s retirement can be mailed to Ballet Theatre Company, 20 Jefferson Avenue #7, West Hartford, CT 06110.

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