Ira White, native to Richmond, Virginia, discovered his love for dance through Richmond Ballet’s Minds In Motion program. Soon after, he signed up for ballet and other countless classes that Richmond Ballet offered. Through the years, he rose through the ranks of the School, including a year spent in its trainee program and three seasons in the second company. He is proud to be in his sixth year with the main company.
Education & Training
School of Richmond ballet from 2004-2011. Trained under a number of the staff still teaching at the Ballet with the inclusion of Mr. Arnott Mader, Ms. Julie Job, and Mr. Willie Hinton.
Professional Experience / Career Highlights
Dancing professionally with RB since 2012 and have been able to perform world famous works including Fancy Free, The Moor’s Pavane, and John Butler’s Carmina Burana, among others.
What inspired you to become a professional dancer?
Knowing that I made audience members happy when I performed as a student made me realize that this was a career that I wanted to pursue. Having the RB company to look up to as a student in the School pushed me to want to become a dancer in the same company someday.
What is your favorite role that you’ve performed?
One of the Sailors in Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free was my most favorite role so far, but my most meaningful was the Moor in The Moor’s Pavane.
What do you enjoy about being part of Richmond Ballet?
Being able to see the company I grew up with evolve and change and being a part of that growth and change. Also, seeing other students progress and follow in a similar path to how I started and seeing them find their joy and passion for dance.
What do you like about living in Richmond?
It’s my hometown. It’s been nice to see it grow from its history to be a city of inclusion and open mindedness and see how it’s starting to truly embrace the arts community.
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing off-stage?
I love cooking and going to the movies. I’m also a big comic book nerd. During the Ballet’s off-season I like to participate in the local musical theater scene with Virginia Repertory Theatre.
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.
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.
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.
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.