At age 14, Ballet West Soloist Victoria Vassos moved to Germany and began training full-time at Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin. Vassos, who is half Swiss and half Greek, began dancing at the age of 5 in her hometown and moving to Germany meant learning a completely new language in addition to studying extra hours to catchup to her counterparts. 

“It was a hardship getting adjusted to the number of hours I had to train because I wasn’t used to it and I was much weaker than my classmates, who had been in that academy since they were nine years old … and because I had to learn German, it was a lot of work,” said Vassos. 

Her efforts paid off when she qualified for the Youth American Grand Prix NYC Finals in 2016, where she placed in the Top 12. She then joined Ballet West Academy as a Trainee in 2016, Ballet West II in 2017, and was promoted to the main company in 2019 and to Soloist in 2023. 

Along the way, she learned some valuable lessons that have stayed with her through the years. “The challenges I had to overcome when I moved away from home helped me become a more mature and life-ready person. Now, I face obstacles with the confidence that I have overcome something hard before, so I tell myself that I can do it again,” Vassos said. 

“I think ballet has taught me so much, not just about the steps, but taught me about discipline, how to take care of myself, and understand when it’s good to take a break. Ballet has set my values in life and once I’m done with my career, those values are still going to shape my life.” 

When she isn’t training at Ballet West, Vassos loves drawing, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. She recently completed a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science from Concordia University and is working as an apprentice in the Gyrotonic Method, a movement system that increases range of motion while improving strength and movement efficiency in all planes of motion.