Our ballet teachers have received a Degree in Education to teach choreographic disciplines. They also have a rich experience as ballet dancers with leading Russian ballet companies. Our students are proud to be taught by the best teachers in North America and possibly in the world. Instruction is provided with passion and commitment to the personal success of every student.
Victoria Mironova with ballet students
The Founder of Our School
VICTORIA MIRONOVA, M. Ed. is an accomplished Russian ballerina, ballet instructor and choreographer who lives and works in Vaughan, Ontario. She is the founder and Artistic Director of Victoria Ballet Company and Victoria International Ballet Academy, the only private school in York Region that offers both a K-12 Ontario certified curriculum, and a daily professional ballet program.
The groundwork for this unique institution was laid by a young and talented Mironova, back in 1977, when she graduated from St. Petersburg’s renowned Vaganova Ballet Academy. After gaining 21 years of professional dance experience, Ms. Victoria, as she is respectfully called by all her students, went on to earn a five year university degree from the Pedagogical Department of the Vaganova Academy. Her major in teaching choreographic disciplines according to the Vaganova syllabus, has led her exactly where she planned to be, running her own school and ballet company in Canada.
When asked to recount the first steps of her journey into the ballet world, Ms. Victoria reminisces: “I was born in Germany to the family of a doctor. Neither my mother, nor my father had anything to do with ballet, but when we moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, this changed. My mother was influenced by the capital’s craze for ballet, so she took me to choreography classes.”
Ms. Victoria fondly recalls the lifelong impact of her dance teachers: “My first teacher was a former dancer of the Imperial Theatre. Although she was about 80 years old at the time, she was still a very strong, cheerful, and strict lady. I have to admit that she never had to be strict with a hard-working student like myself; her self-discipline inspired me to work tirelessly for my dreams.”
After a year of lessons, this intuitive teacher advised Ms. Victoria’s mother to bring her gifted child to the Vaganova Ballet Academy auditions. At 11 years old, she was one of 16 talented young dancers who were selected from 600 students competing in the exam. Ms. Victoria recounts: “Then came eight years of hard but delightful work, sometimes taking parts in performances in the Mariinski (formerly Kirov) Theatre, where we had rare opportunities to observe the performances of professional ballet dancers. It took our breath away to watch such stars as Irina Kolpakova and Mikhail Baryshnikov in The Sleeping Beauty, to be close to the artists, and to touch the dress of a ballerina. It was hard to believe that they were people just like us, because it seemed that they had just come down from heaven. We could see their perspiration and felt their heavy breathing after every dance, and we understood that becoming a ballet dancer is both hard and wonderful at the same time. We would give up anything in order to become graceful, light and out-of-reach, just like deities.”
When one’s heart is in the right place, time flies. Mironova felt as though eight years passed in the blink of an eye. Despite hours of daily lessons in classical ballet, choreography, music and dance history, Vaganova students had to follow a rigorous curriculum of physics, math, history, and languages. This same tradition of a well-rounded education is now applied in her own school, since she took on the responsibility of educating her own daughter Elizaveta, as well as children from all over the world at Victoria International Ballet Academy.
By the age of 18, Mironova’s dance education was over and she took a step into the mature, theatrical life of opera and ballet. Ms. Victoria recalls: “My career of 21 years spent with the professional theatre in St. Petersburg was a remarkable time period, filled with hard work, appealing roles, and unforgettable tours all around the world. However, the professional life of a ballet artist is very brief, about 20 years. Thus to continue with my passion for ballet, I returned to the classroom, this time as a student of the Pedagogical Faculty.”
And when Ms.Victoria does something, she does it right. Five more years were dedicated to studying the art of teaching. A ballet dancer learns early on that skipping steps is not an option. She calls to mind the start of her teaching career: “I began to teach little, fragile and talented girls the art of ballet. With them, I waited in anticipation for their examinations; it is known that every year the school excludes a lot of children and only the best of them stay.”
Those who remained blossomed into true artists and some even became stars. Mironova proudly reveals that, “Nowadays, they call me here, in Canada, and share with me the joys of their successes and their struggles. I am honoured to have such enduring relationships with my students and feel blessed that they have not forgotten their first ballet teacher. This student-teacher relationship has been a crucial part of my own development as a dancer. I will always cherish my teachers, and have been fortunate enough to work with talented Russian icons in the ballet world, Natalia Dudinskaya and Konstantin Sergeev. They have undoubtedly had a significant impact on 20th century culture. Dudinskaya was one of Agrippina Vaganova’s favourite students, and of course, a zealous guardian of the Vaganova method. These traditions were passed from Vaganova, to her students including Dudinskaya, and to the next generation of students such as me. Now it is my turn to share this knowledge with the students of Victoria International Ballet Academy (VIBA). It is an honour and a great responsibility to be a student of such a recognized ballerina.”
Ms. Victoria feels no less regard for her “non-celebrity” but incredible teachers: Irina Trofimova, Eleonora Kokorina, Bella Ozhegova, Nikolai Konishev and many others. They have not only given her a profession that brings joy and creativity to her life on a daily basis, but they have taught her to be disciplined, hardworking, and responsible: “They trained me to be patient and righteous—all the qualities that I am trying to teach my students.”
Ms. Victoria adds “I feel delighted that the profession I love so much is also respected and sought after in this wonderful country. Three years after arriving in Canada, I was able to open my own ballet school in 2003.”
With support from the community, local businesses and government agencies, VIBA has grown into an educational institution that receives eager students from all over the world. “I allow my students to grow with me, to be living proof that ballet is a noble art. I already see students dancing on theatre stages of the world. I hope that VIBA students will benefit from my rich experiences, acquire critical knowledge at our academy, and then pass it on to the next generation of ballet dancers.”
If you would like to find out more about this reputable, fully accredited institute of learning, go to www.victoriaballet.com . There are different dance programs for all ages and ability levels. As it says on the VIBA website, “Go further than you have ever dreamed.”