Founder and Artistic Director, Janelle Gilchrist received her early training in ballet, modern dance, and jazz at the Harriet Hoctor Ballet School, Boston Ballet School, José Mateo Ballet Theatre, Broadway Dance Project, Concord Academy, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. She earned a BFA in Dance Performance at the Hartt School (University of Hartford) and a Master of Arts in teaching from Mount Holyoke College. Gilchrist apprenticed with the Hartford Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, and was a company dancer with José Mateo Ballet Theatre and City Ballet Boston. She performed in Anthony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker, where she debuted as the Sugar Plum Fairy. In addition to her performance career, Gilchrist served as the principal and lead teacher at José Mateo Ballet Theatre’s Dorchester School. She also taught ballet in several local programs, including Tony Williams’ Dance Center, Step By Step, and Boston University’s Reach Program. Currently, Gilchrist is a full-time dance teacher at The Burke High School with the Boston Public Schools and is an assistant professor of Dance at Boston Conservatory.
Janelle Gilchrist Dance Troupe’s mission is to provide performance opportunities for dancers in the greater Boston community and beyond. Using the dancers as an ensemble, in smaller groups, or in solos, Gilchrist grounds her choreography in strong ballet technique, fused with modern and jazz. Gilchrist incorporates various themes throughout her work including the African American experience, multicultural influences, pop-culture, and relationships. Gilchrist’s latest projects consist of full-length performances with live music as well as pieces commissioned for film and stage.