The Dirt with Rachel Foster

Rachel Foster in Paul Gibson’s The Piano Dance. By Angela Sterling

Rachel Foster is the image of power and athleticism. The Pacific Northwest Ballet principal excels at both the intricacy of contemporary works and the precision of George Balanchine’s neoclassical choreography. She trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet and San Francisco Ballet School before joining Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 1998 and then the PNB corps in 2002. In 2009, Dance Magazine featured Foster as one of its “25 to Watch,” and the magazine had it right: Foster, who’d been promoted to soloist in 2008, was made a principal in 2011. Her time in the company also brought her luck in love, and she’s now married to Le Yin, a former PNB principal dancer who’s on faculty at the PNB School. Catch Foster this month in PNB’s “All Premiere” program, November 2–11, and read on for The Dirt.

What did you want to be when you were a teen? It’s always been my dream to dance and become a professional ballet dancer. When I was a teenager, my parents would drive me 2 hours to ballet class and 2 hours home every day.

Performer you would drop everything to go see: Alina Cojucaru

Biggest guilty pleasure: Sleeping in. I have a dog named Ceasar who loves his early morning walks.

Favorite food: My husband’s wonderful Chinese cooking. Everything else tastes so bland in comparison.

What’s your biggest pet peave? Littering

One thing most people don’t know about you: I’m really messy at the studio, but at home I’m a neat freak. I love to clean and organize.

If you weren’t a dancer, what would you be? I love animals. I could see myself as a veterinarian.

One thing you can’t live without: A telephone call to or from my mom every day.

Who is your dance crush? My husband. I still have a dance crush on him.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? My husband and I talk frequently about opening our own ballet studio.

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