Jackson Calhoun, of Winston-Salem, NC, was exposed to arts education at a very young age. After attending the Arts Based School during his earliest years, he studied and graduated from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ high school ballet program. While in school, he competed in the Youth America Grand Prix, and through the competition, his relationship with Richmond Ballet began. After being invited to audition at Richmond Ballet, he was accepted as an RBII dancer and continued in the position for three years. During his time in the second company, Jackson danced in Ma Cong’s Thrive and Yury Yanowsky’s Fading Creatures, among other renowned works, and choreographed his own creation titled Catwalk. This year, Jackson is proud to be a part of the main company and looks forward to his future with Richmond Ballet.
Education & Training
I was exposed to arts education at a very young age. I attended the Arts Based School during my earliest years, and then graduated and studied Ballet at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ highschool program. From highschool I was accepted as a RBII dancer, and am returning for my third season with the Richmond Ballet!
What inspired you to become a professional dancer?
Before I began my classical ballet training, I acted in musicals and plays. It was not until preforming as a party child in The Nutcracker that I realized dance was the path I wanted to take. To not only experience athleticism, but to apply the elements of artistry into movement and form is an amazing process, and is why dance became my median of choice.
What do you enjoy about being part of Richmond Ballet?
My colleagues make dancing at the Richmond Ballet a pleasure. My fellow dancers educate me every time I share the space with them. They are kind and supportive, they do not act out of spite.
What do you like about living in Richmond?
I love the beautiful James River. Also, the old architecture and history contrasting with the modern art and activism really intrigue me. I love that there is always new food to try and music heard when walking the streets.
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing off-stage?
Off-stage I can be found at my computer, drawing, reading or dancing around the apartment while listen to music.
Our professional company is made up of elite dancers from around the world who have helped earn Richmond Ballet critical acclaim. Dance/USA says Richmond Ballet is “a jewel among U.S. dance companies,” while The Washington Post calls it “a company to which dance fans everywhere ought to pay attention.” We’re proud of all that our company dancers bring to Richmond, and the world.
The Richmond Ballet Studio Company is the highest level of School of Richmond Ballet, featuring exceptional student dancers from across the country. The eleven-month program includes a diverse range of performance opportunities such as Lecture Demonstrations, Richmond Ballet Company mainstage performances, and the end-of-season showcase with the Richmond Ballet Trainees.
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Katrina May Thomas
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Founded in 1993, the nationally recognized Richmond Ballet Trainee Program offers select advanced students a transitional experience to bridge the gap between the academic ballet setting and the world of professional dance. The Richmond Ballet Trainee Program is one of the few in this country that enables aspiring dancers to pursue formal dance training and gain valuable performance experience with a professional company.
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The Artistic Staff at Richmond Ballet is made up of international professionals who each bring incredible talent, expertise, and credentials to their respective roles. With impressive backgrounds and world experience, they offer a unique perspective that has helped shape our organization over the years. For over 40 years, Stoner Winslett has served as the founding Artistic Director of Richmond Ballet, the first major company of professional dancers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She is one of the longest tenured artistic directors of a major ballet company and one of the country’s few female artistic directors. In June 2020, acclaimed choreographer Ma Cong joined Richmond Ballet as its first ever Associate Artistic Director.