Naomi Wilson, of Brandon, MS, trained under David Keary of Ballet Mississippi for four years. At 17, she joined Miami City Ballet’s pre-professional program for two years, then auditioned at Richmond Ballet, dancing one year as a trainee and two years with RBII. This is Naomi’s third season performing with the main company.
Education & Training
Ballet Mississippi, Miami City Ballet School, and Richmond Ballet
Professional Experience / Career Highlights
At Richmond Ballet I spent two years in the second company, and now I am starting my second season with the main company! My first season with the company was during the height of Covid-19. It was a huge challenge, but we were also very grateful to continue dancing during that difficult time. I am very proud of Richmond Ballet for what we accomplished!
What inspired you to become a professional dancer?
The absolute thrill of being on stage! I love to tell a story, and I believe dance is the most beautiful way to do so. Dancing was always a passion of mine, and so I was determined to try and make a career out of it.
What is your favorite role that you’ve performed with Richmond Ballet?
I loved dancing in “The Waiting Room” by Salvatore Aiello. An extremely dark and moving contemporary piece, and was unlike anything I’ve ever done before! I had such an incredible time dancing alongside my colleagues/friends, Sabrina and Eri.
What do you enjoy about being part of Richmond Ballet?
I love how close everyone is with each other. It’s a smaller company, so we get to know each other really well. These are the kindest people!
What do you like about living in Richmond?
The city life! I love the amazing art exhibitions, restaurants, and the continuous stream of activities happening all around the city.
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing off-stage
Reading! During quarantine, I became a big fan of mystery novels. I also love to go to the movies, hang out with friends, attend and volunteer at church, and spend time with family.
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.
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.
RBII Apprentices are the top level of the Pre-Professional Division of School of Richmond Ballet. They receive an intensive training program, full scholarship, living stipend and are the bridge to RBII, our second company. Their time is divided between RBII rehearsals and the Trainee Program, performing in Lecture Demonstrations, Richmond Ballet Company mainstage performances and the end of season showcase performance with RB Trainees.
Richmond Ballet II Apprentices
Seated (L-R): Gianna DeMassio, Rachel Nash
Standing (L-R): Michael Duncan, Hannah MacLeod, Darius Mealy
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.
Richmond Ballet Trainees - Second and Third Years
First Row- Senior Trainees: Kennady Jackson, Sarah Shaw, Gabrielle Goodson
Second Row: Katrina May Thomas, Sheridan Brown, Anna Orzulak, Parker Edmondson, Kendall Taylor, Ella Warren
Third Row: Carter Bush, Gavin Haas, Cade Bolz, Garrett Janiak, Daniel Miller
Richmond Ballet Trainees - First Year
First Row: Anne Pearson Gremer, Kristen Soyars Green, Isabella Vanik
Second Row: Gillian Carr, BriAnna Binzak, Savannah Wyatt, Claire Kehoe, Alexis Dawson, Kinsey Phelps, Chelsea Hacking
Third Row: Kiera Luci Dulog, Gillian Grossman, Oliver Gardner, Sydney Stutzman, Benjamin Piner
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.