Sam Ainley

Sam Ainley-Zoll, born in Sacramento, California began training at The School of Sacramento Ballet at age ten under the direction of Melanie Haller, followed by Crockett-Deane Ballet under the direction of Barbara Crockett. Ainley joined the School of American Ballet on full scholarship in 2013, with mentorship from Jock Soto. At age 17 he accepted a position with Boston Ballet as a member of their second company under the directorship of Peter Stark. In 2017, he accepted a contract with the Carolina Ballet under Robert Weiss and Zalman Raffael. Under the leadership of Zalman Raffael, he was promoted to Soloist in 2019 and then Principle in 2021. Ainley danced with the Carolina Ballet for six seasons before attending NC State and is now a Goodnight Scholar studying human biology hoping to pursue a medical degree.