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Artists / Dancers

Stoner Winslett

Winslett for playbill- small for website

Stoner Winslett is the founding Artistic Director of the Richmond Ballet professional company. In the past 30 years, under Ms. Winslett’s direction, Richmond Ballet has established the first major company of professional dancers in the Commonwealth, commissioned 55 new works from 20 choreographers from around the world, introduced the much-acclaimed Minds In Motion program into area schools, renovated and occupied its landmark downtown building on Canal Street, and introduced the work of Richmond Ballet to audiences in such major centers as New York, Chicago, and London. Ms. Winslett was trained by Ann Brodie, Aldofina Suarez and Michael Lland in Columbia, South Carolina, and at American Ballet Theatre School and North Carolina School of the Arts on scholarship. After knee injuries curtailed her performing career, she pursued a course of independent study at Smith College, where she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Ms. Winslett’s vision for the organization has always encompassed not only performing but also the training of artists and education of the community that are necessary to both preserve the heritage and explore new directions for the ballet. The major programming divisions of the organization – the Richmond Ballet professional company, The School of Richmond Ballet, and Minds In Motion – all reflect this mission. She has built an impressive repertory for Richmond Ballet with a foundation of full length classics and 20th century masters coupled with a strong commitment to new work. Her own choreography is part of the backbone of the company’s repertory, including her acclaimed version of The Nutcracker. Ms. Winslett’s work has been recognized both regionally and nationally with numerous appointments and honors. She has served as a panelist and site visitor for several state arts commissions and for the National Endowment for the Arts, and has also served multiple terms as a vice chairman for Dance/USA. Named a YWCA Woman of the Year in 1988, Ms. Winslett served as the Cadmus Leader-in-Residence at the University of Richmond Jepson School of Leadership in 1997. In 2000, Ms. Winslett was chosen by Style Weekly as one of the 100 most influential Richmonders of the 20th century, and that same year was named by Richmond Times-Dispatch as one of the most influential people in the history of Virginia. In 2005, she received The Smith College Medal, the highest honor the college confers on an alumna. Ms. Winslett and Richmond Ballet were recipients of the 2008 Governor’s Awards for the Arts announced by then governor Timothy M. Kaine. Currently, Ms. Winslett serves as president of the John Butler Foundation. Ms. Winslett lives in Richmond with her family.