Claudia-Lynn Rightmire | Clara Marie

Claudia-Lynn Rightmire, a Florida native, holds a summa cum laude and Alpha Chi Honors BA degree in dance and performance studies from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. During her undergraduate career, Claudia-Lynn performed in works by Helen Simoneau, Sean Curran, Tiffany Mills, and many others. In 2014, she studied Contemporary Modern and other forms in London and subsequently found herself in Florida. She was a member of Sarasota Contemporary Dance and Moving Ethos Dance Company for the 2016-2017 season before moving to Melbourne, Australia. There she spent the year teaching throughout Melbourne, dancing with Lion Heart Dance Company, and performing with artists such as Gülsen Özer, Megan Beckwith, and Anouk van Dijk. Claudia-Lynn was a member of Sarasota Contemporary Dance Company for the 2018-2019 season, creating work of her own and performing in works by Pamela Pietro, Gerri Houlihan, and Doug Gillespie. Claudia-Lynn was a master teacher at New College of Florida, funded by the Mellon Grant, and an instructor at The Sarasota Ballet and Booker High School. In her first season in New York, she is currently a dancer and company manager with Kinesis Project dance theatre, and a freelance writer and artist. She is grateful to be a part of My First Nutcracker with New York City Children’s Theatre.

Tell us about your first time seeing The Nutcracker

The first time I saw The Nutcracker, I left the show wanting to gather every nutcracker that I’ve ever seen and watch them come to life. I wanted to dance with them and help them save the world. I had two of my own and I remember staying up with them the entire night after the show, dancing and helping them come to life in my own story.

What’s the most meaningful gift you’ve ever received and/or given? 

When I graduated college, my mentor and college professor gave me a small, silver dolphin trinket. I didn’t know why she gave it to me; I simply thought it was a sweet gesture. When she handed it to me, she said, “I think you are a dolphin and someday, I think you’ll know it, too.”

I bring the dolphin with me everywhere – it’s become my lucky charm. It is a constant reminder of having confidence within myself, showing kindness, being true to myself, and having fun.

Clara and the Prince dance in so many exciting places! Where would you most want to dance? 

I would love to dance in space. Imagine dancing on the moon? Moving through space with less gravity, floating, flying – how magical it would be. I have had dreams of dancing on the moon, watching the earth in the distance, and flying down craters – feeling invincible.

My favorite children’s book is… because…

I grew up reading Harry Potter. From the moment I could read, I had one in my hands. I loved the idea of magic existing all around us – I still do. I loved so many books, but Harry Potter introduced me to a world of possibilities. A world where young people held a lot of power within themselves, and a world that showed me that I did, too.

My First Nutcracker is full of fun, sparks the magic of the holiday season, and gives the audience a chance to dance along. We ALL dance and we all travel to faraway places. We will truly be on an adventure together, and with everyone’s help, My First Nutcracker will be the Nutcracker to remember!