Fresh from Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School’s graduate program, Erin Casale is one of six new company members joining PBT for its 50th Anniversary Season in 2019-2020. Learn how Erin gets ready for a performance, what her ultimate dream role is and what she’s hoping to accomplish during her first year as a professional dancer here:
Hometown: Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Family: “I’m the oldest child out of three. I have a younger sister and a younger brother. My mother and father are super supportive and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
Pre-performance ritual: “I usually try to get to the theater pretty early so I don’t have to rush myself at any point while getting ready. I always listen to Billy Joel to get me pumped up and ready to go.”
Hobbies: “I really enjoy sewing and cross stitching. I like trying new crafts and projects too! I also have a few betta fish that I really enjoy taking care of.”
Favorite food: “Any Chinese food, really, but vegetable lo mein is my absolute favorite!”
Favorite musician/song: “‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ by Queen”
Ultimate dream role: ” I would love to perform Juliet or Cinderella.“
Favorite role to date: “It’s hard to choose between performing the first movement of Western Symphony or Raymonda.“
How do you think you’ve grown as an artist during your training? How has it prepared you for a professional position?
“I was fortunate enough to work with the company during both my years in the graduate program, which gave me the opportunity to really feel what it’s like to work with the company. It was also a big test for me to see whether I was able to handle the pressure and if I was good enough to make it in this industry.”
Describe your ballet “epiphany” – the moment you knew this was what you wanted to do professionally.
“Growing up in Johnstown, there wasn’t a lot of opportunities to go and watch ballet, so my mom started taking me to see Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s productions. When my family moved to Washington D.C., I was able to attend PBT’s five-week summer program, and that was when it really clicked. My dream was to dance with PBT and now I’m very fortunate to say that I am.”
What are some of your personal goals for your first season as a company dancer?
“I definitely want to continue working on cleaning my technique. I also want to step out of my comfort zone and learn as much as I can from other dancers. There are so many different dancers and it’s fascinating to see how everyone approaches each role.”
What’s the most fulfilling thing about being a ballet dancer?
“Ballet has always been a part of me. It lets me escape reality and explore different characters. I could be having a hard time in the studio with some of the rehearsals, but performing just has that magical quality to it. That fear just disappears and I feel free.”
What are you most looking forward to dancing next season?
If I wasn’t a ballet dancer, I would be…
“Criminal psychologist or profiler. I’m super into true crime and I find it absolutely fascinating!”