Richmond Ballet News

Taking the Stage: Behind the Scenes

April 19th, 2019

It’s finally time!! After months of work, the Minds In Motion dancers are about to step onto the Carpenter Theater stage at Dominion Energy Center for their culminating performances.

So what’s the secret to getting over 400 dancers from 7 different schools organized in a professional venue?


Lots and lots of tape.

  Since September, the MIM 4th-graders have been dancing—one class at a time—in whatever school venue is suitable: a gymnasium, the cafeteria, the auditorium, a large classroom, or even a library. In just two weeks, the teaching artists have to get the dancers prepped to perform in a much bigger space with a much bigger cast. Using tape.

What makes tape so magical?

The teaching artists use tape to outline the school’s dancing area. Students get used to working as a whole school (not just one class) in a specific amount of space.

For dances that travel, students learn to look for tape lines that tell them where to set up, how far to travel, and—especially important—where to stop. It’s an important skill, because the stage at the Dominion Energy Center is BIG—much bigger than most school’s rehearsal space—and each school has a small amount of time to practice by themselves onstage.

But there is something on that very large stage that will help each and every dancer—be it a 4th-grader, a Minds in Motion Ambassador, or even a member of the professional company—know exactly where to go: TAPE!

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