Richmond Ballet was founded in 1957 by local dance enthusiasts as a performance outlet for students in local dance programs. It existed as a small, civic company until 1975 when the School of Richmond Ballet was created. Ms. Stoner Winslett became the founding artistic director in 1980 and she continues to lead and manage the organization 28 years later. In 1984, Richmond Ballet became the first professional Ballet company in Virginia and was designated the State Ballet of Virginia in 1990. They moved in 2000 into a newly renovated state-of-the-art Facility downtown.
Richmond Ballet's mission is to awaken and uplift the human spirit, both for audiences and dancers. 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. The company has commissioned 50 new works from choreographers from around the world.