Ira White, native to Richmond, VA, discovered his love for dance through Richmond Ballet’s Minds In Motion program. Soon after, he began his training at School of Richmond Ballet (SRB) and rose through the ranks of the school. During his 11 years dancing professionally (three years in RBII and eight in the main company) he has had the privilege of working with many renowned choreographers, including Carmen de Lavallade, Jennifer Archibald, and Val Caniparoli among many others. Several performance highlights include Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, José Limón’s The Moor’s Pavane, and John Butler’s Carmina Burana. Along with dancing, he also teaches Theatre Dance to SRB students and has been named a rehearsal assistant for the company this season
Education & Training
School of Richmond Ballet and Richmond Ballet Trainee Program
Professional Experience / Career Highlights
Three seasons RBII and seven seasons in the main company!
What inspired you to become a professional dancer?
Knowing the joy I was sharing with the audience is what made me want to pursue dance as my profession. I love making people feel better than how they felt before coming to see a show.
What is your favorite role that you’ve performed?
One of the sailors in Fancy Free, Soloist in Carmina Burana and The Moor in The Moors Pavane.
What do you enjoy about being part of Richmond Ballet?
I’ve been with the ballet for most of my life and I’ve always loved how the dancers have made a welcoming environment for those who are new and for the students who look up to them. The past dancers know what it’s like to be in the new members shoes and I feel there’s a conscious effort to make them feel like part of the RB family.
What do you like about living in Richmond?
I love how much of an arts oriented city it’s become and I love to try out all the new restaurants that come up every so often.
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing off-stage?
I love cooking and spending time with friends and 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.
Second Row (L-R):
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.
First Row (L-R):
Second Row (L-R):
Third Row (L-R):
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.