South Carolina's Largest Performing Arts Organization Celebrates 60 Years!

Victoria Cholkas

Years Active – 1994-2012

Company – 1994  I  Principal – 1995  I  Ballerina – 2000  I  Retired – 2012

Ballerina Victoria Cholkas is a native of Florence, SC and received her early ballet training from William Starrett, Elsie Jenkins and Joffrey Ballerina Patricia Miller. She furthered her ballet training for two summers on a merit scholarship at the American Ballet Theatre Intensive Summer Program and was featured in the Coppélia Pas de Deux at the final performance in New York City. Victoria numbers among her teachers and coaches Cynthia Harvey, Gelsey Kirkland, Cynthia Gregory, David Howard, Lupe Serrano, Georgina Parkinson, Raisa Struchkova and Arnold Spohr.

Mr. Starrett chose her to create roles in his original ballets such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s “Esmeralda,” “Sophia” in Dracula’s Revenge and “Dona Anna” in Don Juan. Her classical roles are equally impressive:  “Odette”/”Odile” in Swan Lake, the title character in Cinderella and “Kitri” in the full-length Don Quixote. Additionally, she has danced the title role in Giselle, as “Aurora,” “Lilac Fairy” and “Fairy of the Golden Vine” in The Sleeping Beauty, and “Swanilda” in Coppélia. Victoria has also danced as “Sugar Plum Fairy,” “Snow Queen,” “Dew Drop Fairy” and “Spanish Hot Chocolate” in Nutcracker and as “Maiden” in William Starrett’s Dracula:  Ballet with a Bite.

For her performance as the Spanish spitfire, she was lauded by reviewers for “her strong technique and beautifully long lines.” The Free Times wrote, “Kitri was perfectly portrayed by Victoria Cholkas; she performed her difficult maneuvers with such a genuine, wide smile that her enthusiasm and joy was contagious.” Don Quixote was filmed by SCETV for viewing in South Carolina and release to PBS affiliates throughout the nation. The State praised her performance in Swan Lake stating, “she perfectly embodied the nervous fragility of Odette.”

Joining Columbia City Ballet in 1994, Mr. Starrett promoted her to Principal Dancer the following year and became a Ballerina of the Company in 2000.

Victoria lives with her husband, George Tassios, and her two young daughters, Christina and Veronica, in Florence, SC where she continues to express her love for the art by sharing her talent and experience through teaching at the School of Dance Arts in Florence.

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