South Carolina native, Claire Richards, grew up studying dance at the Columbia Conservatory of Dance under the instruction of William Starrett and Mariclare Miranda. She was a member of Columbia City Ballet II for several years before joining Columbia City Ballet in 2011. During her training, Claire competed in numerous competitions, namely Youth America Grand Prix as well as attended prestigious summer programs with Boston Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, American Ballet Theatre, and Ballet West. She has also performed with Concept Zero, Ballet Spartanburg, and Columbia Summer Repertory Company. During Claire’s time with Columbia City Ballet, she has performed many soloist and principal roles, her favorites including “The Red Maiden” in Dracula, “Myrtha” in Giselle, “Sugar Plum Fairy” in Nutcracker, and “Beauty” in Beauty and the Beast. Currently, in her seventh season with Columbia City Ballet, Claire was promoted to soloist in 2014 and then to principal dancer in 2017.