The beat came from Weems, a local hip-hop producer with big league connections, including rapper Lil Jon. Thomas said he's known Weems for years.
"We were lucky to get him," he said. "As far as local producers who can make a beat, they are few and far between. It's not just making a beat, but understanding how it adds up with the verses and chorus. A lot of people know music, but they don't understand it."
Weems, he said, gave them a professional foundation for the music, which Thomas, Hackman and local rapper Influ could build on to complete the piece. (Influ will perform the music live on Friday.)
"He understood how to make a commercial beat."
Raider said when they first started discussing "Music in Motion," she wanted to cast a wide net and bring in many different music styles.
"We got a lot of our musicians through the West Virginia Symphony and the youth symphony," she said. "We've worked with them and also with http://kanawhavalleypipesanddrums.org/" target="_blank">Kanawha Valley Pipes and Drums. I wanted to get as many instruments as possible involved."
Some of those instruments include a harp, drums and even bagpipes.
Rehearsals, Raider said, took place over several months and went relatively smoothly, though working with so many live performers took time to get used to. She explained that the dancers needed to adjust to the change in how music sounded live versus recorded.
"The musicians might play a little faster [live] as they became more comfortable with their piece, as they knew it better," she said. "But everybody adapted very well, and I think it was good for our dancers to work with live music."
In some ways, Raider said "Music in Motion" was an easier show to construct than a traditional ballet.
"It's not like a ballet," she said. "Usually, this time of the year, we do a shortened version of a ballet like 'The Snow Queen' or 'Cinderella,' and there's a whole story involved. You have to put the pieces together. These are individual pieces, and so it's maybe easier in that aspect."
Naturally, Raider hopes the show is a success but wasn't sure if there was another spin-off to come.
"I don't know," she said. "Got any ideas?"
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.