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Minds In Motion

Message from Cat Studdard Education DirectorCat Studdard

Education and outreach are at the core of Richmond Ballet’s commitment to involve more communities with meaningful dance experiences. No need to search too far to find ways that Richmond Ballet is impacting students through the richness and power of dance. Lecture demonstrations that adapt our full length ballet are being performed by our professional dancers in over 70 schools. This year we bring the magical world of Don Quixote to students in grades K-5. Our Nutcracker Youth performances feature a behind the scenes look at our critically acclaimed performance as students experience the beauty and magic of this holiday treasure.

Minds In Motion, the cornerstone of Richmond Ballet’s education programs is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year!! Minds In Motion teaches fourth-grade students discipline, dedication and self-awareness (learn more). Not to be mistaken for a ballet class, our pedestrian-based movement curriculum teaches students the benefits of applying themselves to a task involving both mental and physical challenges. Professional teaching artists and musicians bring their love and experience of dance to each of the Minds In Motion students in a yearlong or more intensive two-week residency program. As part of Richmond Ballet’s Road to China, our nearly 2,000 Minds In Motion students who meet weekly throughout the school year will be learning about Chinese culture and stories.  Their final performances will enable the children to present their new skills and understanding of China to enthusiastic audiences!

We are thrilled to be in partnership with The Cultural Offices of the Chinese Embassy as we work towards our culminating performances this year!

Check out our news below to learn more about what the students are experiencing throughout their Minds In Motion year!

Richmond Ballet gratefully acknowledges the following funding partners for their generous support of the 2014-15 Minds In Motion Program


Altria Companies Employee Community Fund  •  The Arts and Cultural Funding Consortium: City of Richmond, Hanover County and Henrico County  •  Charlottesville Area Community Foundation  •  The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia  •  Genworth Financial and Genworth Foundation  •  MeadWestvaco Foundation  •  Memorial Foundation for Children  •  Moses D. Nunnally Charitable Trust  •  Shelton H. Short, Jr. Trust  •  Mr. and Mrs. James E. Ukrop  •  Virginia Commission for the Arts  •  Wells Fargo Foundation

BAMA Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band  •  Bernstein Family Foundation  •  Inez Duff Bishop Trust  •  The CarMax Foundation  •  Margarete and Siegfried Eckhaus Charitable Trust  •  The Harrison Foundation  •  Abby W. Moore  •  Morgan Stanley Foundation  •  Sara Belle and Neil November  •  Virginia Sargeant Reynolds Foundation  •  Riverfront Investment Group, LLC  •  The C.F. Sauer Company  •  SunTrust Foundation  •  Truliant Federal Credit Union


2014 Minds In Motion Art Contest | VIEW ALL 20 WINNING DESIGNS!

Nearly 1,500 Minds In Motion students created their own original art that represented the program’s 2014 theme, JAMESTOWN & ARCHAEOLOGY in honor of the year-end performance, “Jamestown: Unearthing A New World”.

The esteemed judges (Twyla Kitts, VMFA Teacher Program Educator; Casey Polczynski, VMFA Administrative Assistant for Education; Stephanie Saccone, Partner and Web Designer for Webbones LLC) worked hard to determine the 20 school winners, eventually selecting Samantha Cake’s design as the image to appear on this year’s souvenir t-shirt.

All of the art work submissions were on display in the windows of the old Miller & Rhoads Department store, which together with this year’s performances, served as a celebration of public art in the River City’s downtown district, a gathering of artistic energy and spirit offered to the public free-of-charge.

Samantha’s winning design is featured on this year’s souvenir t-shirt, designed by Blue Ridge Graphics (

Latest News

Strange and Beautiful Sounds…Part 1!

Strange and Beautiful Sounds. Musical thoughts from our Minds In Motion accompanist Rachel! Part 1: One of my favorite things as a MIM musician has got to be the eclectic mix-tape that is our show’s playlist. Anything goes—from Beatles to bluegrass, big band numbers to Broadway, and even that one year where it was all Bartok and the Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah. It’s so much fun to introduce our dancers (and occasionally ourselves) to music that they (or we) wouldn’t normally ever interact with. Sometimes it’s classical, sometimes it’s…
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Richmond Ballet Minds In Motion Team XXL

Minds In Motion Team XXL has been designated as the featured performance group to represent the Minds In Motion program.  As Minds In Motion has grown, requests for performances throughout the community have increased substantially, and the members of Team XXL have become superb ambassadors for the program. Click below to learn the latest Team XXL news!

Click here to help send Team XXL to New York City to dance!

Richmond Ballet’s Minds In Motion Team XXL is a group of youthful, diverse, high- energy dancers that combine pedestrian movement and rhythmic patterning into exciting and intricate choreography. This program has enabled a number of students to transition to classes at the School of Richmond Ballet…

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Your support allows us to provide a great opportunity for the students. Please consider making an online donation to support Minds In Motion.

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