Sabrina Sabino is originally from upstate, NY, and began studying ballet at Ballet Arts. She attended Canada’s National Ballet School for four years, which included an exchange program to the John Cranko School in Stuttgart, Germany. After graduating, she joined The Washington Ballet as a trainee for one season. Sabrina joined Richmond Ballet in 2012 as part of Richmond Ballet II and was promoted to the main company in 2014. She toured with the company internationally to China in 2015. Sabrina has danced lead roles in many ballets, including The Sleeping Beauty, Malcolm Burn’s Romeo and Juliet, George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Malcolm Burn’s Cinderella, and George Balanchine’s Who Cares?. She has been a part of many new creations for the company by choreographers Ma Cong, Val Caniparoli, and Katarzyna Skarpetowska to name a few. In the fall of 2022, Sabrina and her husband, Fernando, welcomed their baby girl into the world!
Education & Training
Ballet Art by Delia Foley in upstate New York, Canada’s National Ballet School, Trainee with The Washington Ballet, Summer intensives: John Crank School in Stuttgart Germany, Boston Ballet, Nutmeg Conservatory, Chautauqua Ballet, and Canada’s National Ballet School. Sabrina has also attended NCI (National Choreographers Initiative) for two summers.
Professional Experience / Career Highlights
Principal role in Theme and Variations, Cinderella in Cinderella, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, and Sugar Plum in The Nutcracker.
What inspired you to become a professional dancer?
When I was about 3 years old I would always go to my older sisters’ ballet performances and my parents could not stop me from dancing in the aisles. They knew they had to put me into ballet as well and I have been dancing ever since! When I started to become really serious about ballet my parents kept allowing me to go to summer intensives to see if I was truly up for the challenge. While there, you dance all day long and I would always wish that I could do that every day, not just during the summer. Well here I am, dancing all day long as my profession! I could not in a million years be here without my parents’ constant support.
What is your favorite role that you’ve performed with Richmond Ballet?
I loved performing in all of the ballets listed in “Professional Experience”. It’s hard to choose one! I always love the challenges that come with Balanchine Ballets. When I first learned “My One and Only,” a variation in Who Cares?, I knew I was up for a big challenge, but it was very satisfying to rehearse and perform. I would say the same challenge came with Theme and Variations, but I loved every minute of it!
What do you enjoy about being part of Richmond Ballet?
Richmond Ballet is a small company so it allows everyone to dance a lot. There is a lot of hard work that goes into putting a performance together and that brings not only the dancers, but the entire organization together.
What do you like about living in Richmond?
I love that you can have the feeling of being in a city or the country all in a matter of a few miles. Richmond is full of great places to eat and play games, but also so many beautiful walking/hiking trails as well. And of course the James River!
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.