Richmond Ballet was founded in 1957, by local dance enthusiasts as a performance outlet for students in local dance programs. It existed for more than twenty years as a small, civic company until 1975, when the School of Richmond Ballet was created. In 1978, Richmond Ballet continued its growth with the move to its Lombardy Street location. This acquisition was made possible by the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. William Massey Sr.
In 1980, Ms. Stoner Winslett became the founding artistic director. She continues to lead and manage the organization 32 years later.
In 1984, Richmond Ballet became the first professional Ballet company in Virginia and was designated the State Ballet of Virginia in 1990, by then Governor Wilder.
In 2000, Richmond Ballet moved into a newly renovated state-of-the-art Facility at 407 East Canal Street in the heart of downtown Richmond. The spectacular building boasts 53,500 square feet and is a generous donation from the Reynolds Metals Company.
It is dedicated to the promotion, preservation and continuing evolution of the art form of ballet. Richmond Ballet strives to keep meaningful works of dance alive and to produce and foster new works that remain true to these values.