Gaiera, Celeste - Richmond Ballet
photoshoot

Celeste Gaiera

Company Dancer

Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand // Joined: 2021

Celeste Gaiera began her dance training at age five in New Zealand under the inspirational guidance of Marian McDermott. After arriving in the United States, she joined a full-time ballet training program in Portland, Oregon. She then moved to San Francisco to train at Marin Dance Theater, under the direction of Margaret Swarthout and Lynn Cox. Celeste was selected to join Pittsburgh Ballet Theater’s Graduate Program on scholarship, where she enjoyed many opportunities to perform with the company. She then joined Texas Ballet Theater as a company member under Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., for four years, performing a variety of both classical and contemporary ballets. Celeste attended Netherlands Dance Theater in 2016, where she performed works by Paul Lightfoot, Sol León, Mengahn Lou, and Crystal Pite. This is her first year with Richmond Ballet.

Dance Education & Training
Marian McDermott School of Dance New Zealand, Portland Festival Ballet, Marin Dance Theatre, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Professional Experience / Career Highlights
Company member with Texas Ballet Theater 2017-2021

What inspired you to become a professional dancer?
My love for dance. I still remember the moment when I was eleven years old, in ballet class, and the most enlivening passionate feeling came over me. I had always had a deep passion for dance but in that moment I knew I needed to follow that feeling and I’ve never looked back!

What brought you to Richmond Ballet?
I first worked with Jerri Kumery at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 2019, which initially sparked my interest in the Richmond Ballet. I believe this company is extremely special because of the integrity and passion every member in the organization embodies. It’s wonderful to work with people who are extremely talented dancers and wonderful people as well!

What hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing off-stage?
I love singing, spending time with my friends, the outdoors, and somatic movement healing!

A photo gallery of Celeste's artistry

Our Artists

Company Dancers

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.

Cody Beaton
Cody Beaton
Enrico Hipolto
Enrico Hipolito
Sabrina Holland
Sabrina Holland
Colin Jacob
Colin Jacob
Khaiyom Khojaev
Khaiyom Khojaev
Jack Miller
Jack Miller
Eri Nishihara
Eri Nishihara
Naomi Robinson
Naomi Robinson
Joe Seaton
Joe Seaton
Sarah Joan Smith
Sarah Joan Smith
Izabella Tokev
Izabella Tokev
Ronald Wagstaff
Ronald Wagstaff
Ira White
Ira White
Naomi Wilson
Naomi Wilson

RBII Dancers

Richmond Ballet II, our second performing company, is comprised of talented young dancers between the ages of 18 and 22. RBII members perform their own diverse repertoire on tour across the Commonwealth as well as alongside the main company in mainstage productions.

Kaeley Andrews
Kaeley Andrews
Nicole Bui
Nicole Bui
Jackson Calhoun
Jackson Calhoun
Courtney Collier
Courtney Collier
Roland Jones
Roland Jones
Garret McNally
Garret McNally
Zacchaeus Page
Zacchaeus Page
Paul Piner
Paul Piner
Marjorie Sherman
Marjorie Sherman

TRAINEES

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.

Trainee group photo 1

Richmond Ballet Trainees - Second Year
First Row: Savannah Cherry, Sage Polak, Emma Block, Gianna DeMassio
Second Row: Sarah Shaw, Gabrielle Goodson, Maia Culbreath, Carrington Martin
Third Row: Madeline Duritza, Seth Mostofsky, Allison Bell, Darius Mealy, Claire Duritza

Trainee group photo 2

Richmond Ballet Trainees - First Year
First Row: Kennady Jackson, Ella Warren, Katrina May Thomas
Second Row: Carter Bush, Kendall Taylor, Parker Edmondson, Sheridan Brown, Anna Orzulak, Garrett Janiak
Third Row: Cade Bolz, Gavin Haas, Ephraim Bullock, Daniel Miller

Artistic Staff

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.

Headshot of Richmond Ballet Artistic Director Stoner Winslett.
Stoner Winslett
Artistic Director
Ma Cong headshot, Associate Artistic Director.
Ma Cong
Associate Artistic Director
Malcolm Burn headshot, Artistic Associate & Ballet Master.
Malcolm Burn
Artistic Associate
Judy Jacob headshot, Artistic Associate & School Director.
Judy Jacob
Artistic Associate & Chairman of the Faculty
Jerri Kumery headshot, Ballet Master.
Jerri Kumery
Artistic Associate
Igor Antonov headshot, Richmond Ballet II Director & Ballet Master.
Igor Antonov
Artistic Associate and Richmond Ballet II Director
Erin Freeman
Erin Freeman
Resident Conductor