Margaret Tracey

Artistic Director

Born in Pueblo, Colorado, Tracey began ballet studies with her mother, Nancy Tracey, at age six. In 1982, she was accepted as a student at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet (NYCB). At SAB, she was the recipient of an Atlantic Richfield Foundation scholarship (1982-85) as well as a Princess Grace Foundation award (1985-86) that cited her “exceptional promise and dedication to excellence.”


In 1986, Tracey joined the NYCB corps de ballet, launching a celebrated 16-year stage career. A principal dancer from 1991 until her retirement in 2002, she excelled in the Balanchine repertoire, appearing frequently in such core works as Apollo, Allegro Brilliante, Ballo della Regina, Concerto Barocco, Serenade, Square Dance, Symphony in C, Vienna Waltzes, Western Symphony, and Who Cares?, among others. She was also featured in a range of Robbins’ ballets, including Andantino, Afternoon of a Faun, The Four Seasons, and The Goldberg Variations, and created a role in the choreographer’s Ives, Songs (1988). She originated roles in works by William Forsythe, Richard Tanner, Ib Andersen, Trey McIntyre and Peter Martins, including his Les Petit Riens, Fearful Symmetries, Zakouski and his production of The Sleeping Beauty, in which she appeared both as Princess Aurora and Princess Florine.


With NYCB, Tracey toured Europe and Asia, appeared in the PBS “Live from Lincoln Center” series, and danced the Marzipan Shepherdess in the 1993 film of Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.


As a Balanchine Repetiteur, Tracey has staged several of his works including, Concerto Barocco, Theme and Variations, Scotch Symphony, Raymonda Variations, Serenade, and Divertimento #15, among others on both professional companies and schools. In 2011 she was recognized with a Jerome Robbins Foundation award for her distinguished interpretation as a Robbins’ dancer. 


Since retiring from New York City Ballet in 2002, Tracey has become an admired and dedicated teacher and arts advocate. She served as the Director of Boston Ballet School (BBS) from 2007-2021 and was profiled in a 2009 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine. During her tenure at BBS, Tracey drew upon her teaching experiences, studies in psychology, and ties to community clinicians to initiate a comprehensive Wellness Program at BBS. She also created the Next Generation, a year-end performance showcasing pre-professional students, which has become an annual highlight that spotlights BBS as a leader in local and regional arts education. Her stature in the dance world brought BBS extraordinary access to the Balanchine and Robbins repertoire, enhancing the training and performance experience for students. In addition, Tracey committed to commissioning underrepresented voices in choreography by amplifying the work of women and BIPOC choreographers such as Jill Johnson, Lia Cirio and Ja’ Malik, among others. Tracey further distinguished BBS internationally by establishing exchange programs with Canada’s National Ballet School, Paris Opera Ballet School, the Royal Danish Ballet and Dresden’s Semperoper Ballet. Under her leadership, BBS also became a partner school with the prestigious Prix de Lausanne international ballet competition. 


Tracey continues to dedicate her efforts as a dance educator with a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and access to champion change. She has served on panels for MoBBallet’s annual educational symposiums (2019, 2020, and 2022), and volunteered on the planning committee for the 2023 edition of Assemblée Internationale; an Olympic-caliber gathering of pre-professional students and directors from schools around the globe focused on addressing Anti-Black Racism in ballet’s practices, hosted by Canada’s National Ballet School. 


In the summer of 2023, Tracey was appointed the Dean of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute at the Colburn School in Los Angeles.  In her leadership role, she developed policies and practices to better serve the dual mission of training pre-professional and recreational track students across the genres of ballet, modern and tap.


During her summers, Tracey spends time in her home state of Colorado as teacher/coach/repetiteur for the Vail Dance Festival, under the leadership of Artistic Director, Damien Woetzel. This festival is known for bringing together some of the world’s most innovative dance and music artists committed to pushing the boundaries of collaboration.


Margaret was appointed Artistic Director of Canada’s National Ballet School in 2024.