Our history & mission
Local dance enthusiasts founded Richmond Ballet in 1957 as a performance outlet for students in local dance programs. It existed for almost 20 years as a small, civic company until 1975, when the School of Richmond Ballet was founded. The School sparked the evolution from a student company to the professional company of today.
Since its early days as a civic company in the 1950s through its emergence as a professional company in 1984 to today, Richmond Ballet, The State Ballet of Virginia, has flourished as a home for the past, present, and future of dance. Richmond Ballet boasts an expansive repertory that includes 19th- and 20th-century masterpieces as well as more than 75 new ballets by contemporary choreographers from around the world. The Company made its international debut in London in 2012, followed by a tour to China in 2015, and has performed at The Joyce Theater in New York City in 2005, 2008, 2010, and, most recently, May of 2017.
In addition to the professional company, the Ballet is proud to celebrate the strength of its School of Richmond Ballet, which educates over 800 students annually, as well as its community engagement programs, including the acclaimed Minds In Motion which reaches more than 2,000 students each year in both the Commonwealth of Virginia and Israel.
Under the leadership of founding Artistic Director Stoner Winslett, Richmond Ballet continues to further its mission to awaken and uplift the human spirit both for audiences and dancers. As the Company looks forward to its next decades, the organization has adopted the following vision for the future:
Richmond Ballet aspires to help transform our world through the unique and special power of dance by training and presenting ballet dancers as the ultimate artists/athletes who inspire us by demonstrating unlimited human potential and beauty. Through the work of Richmond Ballet, this community will continue to move towards one that universally respects the value of human life, both physical and emotional; the power of cooperation and mutual respect; the work ethic and discipline required to achieve anything truly meaningful; and the joy of existing in a compassionate community.
Special thanks to the generosity of our 2021-2022 season sponsors.