Nishihara, Eri - Richmond Ballet

Eri Nishihara

Company Dancer

Hometown: Hiroshima, Japan // Joined: 2014

Eri Nishihara, originally of Japan, began her training in Reno, Nevada. She holds a BFA in Ballet from the University of Utah, where she studied for two years before joining Richmond Ballet II. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her friends. Eri is thrilled to be dancing her fourth season in the professional company.

Education & Training
Tanihara Ballet Studio in Hiroshima, Japan, The Conservatory of Movement in Reno, Nevada, BFA in Ballet Performance (2014) from University of Utah. 

Professional Experience / Career Highlights
My career highlight would be being promoted into the Company at Richmond Ballet!

What inspired you to become a professional dancer?
I always loved to dance wherever I went, ever since I was a little girl. That, combined with my passion for music, has kept me in love with dancing all my life. It didn’t occur to me that I might be able to dance as a professional until I saw young dancers pursuing their dreams. I think I was inspired by my friends; they gave me the courage I needed to give it a go at something that was merely a dream. 

What is your favorite role that you’ve performed?
I loved performing Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty. It was so exciting to feel challenged and it was the most fun to perform! That was the first time I got to perform a classical pas de deux as a professional on a big stage. 

What do you enjoy about being part of Richmond Ballet?
We are a small company so we get to be close friends dancing all day, every day. The camaraderie makes even the hardest dancing days fun. I love that each dancer here is so unique; it’s so exciting to see everyone shine in different pieces and roles! 

What do you like about living in Richmond?
I absolutely love walking around Richmond; it’s a beautiful city with lots of character. I never get tired of exploring this city and the nature around it. The local food scene is very fun too! 

What hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing off-stage?
I love to be outside! I’m always looking for opportunities to walk, hike, go for a run, and picnic! I played classical piano for a long time growing up, so I also really love to go into the studio when it’s empty and “borrow” the piano to play. 

A photo gallery of Eri'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.

Lauren Archer
Lauren Archer
Cody Beaton
Cody Beaton
Marty Davis
Marty Davis
Trevor Davis
Trevor Davis
Abi Goldstein
Abi Goldstein
Sabrina Holland
Sabrina Holland
Khaiyom Khojaev
Khaiyom Khojaev
Izabella Marietta Tokev
Izabella Tokev
Ira White
Ira White
RBII dancer 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.

RBII dancer Kate Anderson
Kate Anderson
headshot of RBII dancer Jackson Calhoun
Jackson Calhoun
RBII dancer Patrick Lennon
Patrick Lennon
Jack Miller
headshot of RBII dancer Naomi Robinson
Naomi Robinson
headshot of RBII dancer Marjorie Sherman
Marjorie Sherman
Raquel Smith
RBII dancer Ronald Wagstaff
Ronald Wagstaff


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.

Third Years: Kaeley Andrews, Madelynne Boudreau, Courtney Collier, Ana Pavon, Lydia Ross, Liesl Wiedmann
Second Years: Lily Clark, Joey Dlearo, Danielle Guirma, Keeley Hernandez, Meghan Hutto, Meghan Kelley, Tarique Logan, Elizabeth Mann, Maura Moody, Anna Nader, Hannah Powell, Logan O’Neal, Jonathan Robbins, Hope Roberts, Katelyn Roberts, Nan Venderbush
First Years: Allison Bell, Emma Block, Dana Carskadden, Savannah Cherry, Maia Culbreath, Gabrielle Cutrona, Gianna DeMassio, Claire Duritza, Madeline Duritza, Gabrielle Goodson, Carrington Martin, Darius Mealy, Seth Mostofsky, Sage Polak, Sarah Shaw

Artistic Directors

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

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.

Malcolm Burn headshot, Artistic Associate & Ballet Master.
Malcolm Burn
Artistic Associate & Ballet Master
Judy Jacob headshot, Artistic Associate & School Director.
Judy Jacob
Artistic Associate & School Director
Jerri Kumery headshot, Ballet Master.
Jerri Kumery
Ballet Master
Igor Antonov headshot, Richmond Ballet II Director & Ballet Master.
Igor Antonov
Richmond Ballet II Director & Ballet Master
Erin Freeman
Erin Freeman
Resident Conductor