Naomi Wood, of Brandon, MS, trained under David Keary of Ballet Mississippi. At 17, she was accepted in Miami City Ballet’s Pre-Professional Division for two years. She then auditioned for Richmond Ballet and joined as a trainee in 2017. After one year, she was promoted to the second company, and in 2020 she joined the main company. In her time at Richmond Ballet, Naomi has had the opportunity to perform in George Balanchine’s Who Cares? and Serenade, Ma Cong’s Ershter Vals, Salvatore Aiello’s The Waiting Room, and many other works. In the summer of 2023, she married her best friend, Noah, who has become a big fan of Richmond Ballet. Naomi is very excited for her fourth season in 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.
The Richmond Ballet Studio Company is the highest level of the Pre-Professional Division 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.