Q&A: Carli Samuelson

Carli Samuelson is from Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. She trained at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Ms. Samuelson danced for Pennsylvania Ballet before joining Pacific Northwest Ballet as a corps de ballet dancer in 2008.

In 2011, Ms. Samuelson performed as a guest artist on Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s “Stars of CPYB” performance.


When you were a young child, did you always want to be a dancer?

There is a story that goes along with that! When I was six years old, I was juggling my time between playing soccer and taking ballet classes. One day, I threw a fit because I didn’t want to go to ballet. My mom persisted I follow through with my first performance in a few months. Afterwards, I could continue dancing or quit if I still didn’t enjoy it. After the show, I realized how much I loved performing and haven’t looked back since.

In morning Company class, do you prefer turning or jumping?

Definitely jumping.

Who has been your most favorite choreographer to come to PNB?

William Forsythe. He was incredibly inspiring and encouraged me to be the best dancer. I felt like I danced better because of his positivity. His time with PNB was definitely a highlight of my career.

Favorite snack to get you through a long rehearsal day?

  • Almonds
  • Bananas
  • Apple
  • Coconut water

Top three most important items in your dance bag?

  1. Foot roller – I couldn’t go a day dancing without rolling the bottoms of my feet.
  2. Two tennis balls – I wrap two tennis balls with duck tape and then I use it to roll my spine.
  3. Alcohol spray – Many of the PNB dancers have adopted this trick of mine. I have a small spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol and I spray it to soften the hard parts of my pointe shoes.
Carli Samuelson as Cupid in "Don Quixote." Photo by Angela Sterling; choreography by Alexei Ratmansky.

Read more Q&A’s with Dancers, Choreographers, & Staff

Featured photo: Carli Samuelson in Petite Mort. Photo by Angela Sterling; choreography by Jiri Kylian.
Photos: Carli Samuelson as Cupid in Don Quixote. Photo by Angela Sterling; choreography by Alexei Ratmansky. Carli Samuelson as Puss in Boots in The Sleeping Beauty. Photo by Angela Sterling. Carli Samuelson with Benjamin Girffiths in Petite Mort. Photo by Angela Sterling; choreography by Jiri Kylian.