The Richmond Ballet was founded in 1957 by Donna Comstock Forrest, Marjorie Fay Underhill and Robert C. Watkins Jr. as the Ballet Impromptu. Later, the company was renamed Richmond Ballet. It functioned as a small company for almost twenty years until it was reorganized as the School of Richmond Ballet. In 1990, then Governor of Virginia Douglas Wilder designated the company the State Ballet of Virginia leading to an elevation in status. Over the years, the company has received critical acclaim for its productions of popular classical ballets such as Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. It has toured internationally in many countries and performed at hallowed venues like the Royal Opera House. In addition to being a performance company, the Richmond Ballet also works to make ballet training available to all promising performers. Through its outreach program, Minds in Motion started in 1993, it teaches a program to fourth graders in all commonwealth countries.