Founder and Artistic Director

Victoria_PhotoNationally acclaimed teacher and choreographer, Victoria Vittum brings vision, passion, expertise and dedication to Ballet Center of Houston (BCH), which she founded in 1994.  Two years later, she co-founded Houston Repertoire Ballet with Gilbert Rome to extend training for talented BCH students beyond the studio, and to give them opportunities to perform onstage in pre-professional productions, often alongside professional guest dancers.  Today, Ms. Vittum directs and teaches at both institutions, making it her mission to offer the best dance training in the Houston area and to perpetuate interest in the art of ballet.
 
 
Trained by Julio de Bittencourt, Ms. Vittum graduated from Lamar University with a BA in Dance Education.  Since then she has been recognized with two Monticello Choreography Awards, Illinois State University’s Choreography Competition Award and nominations for General Electric’s American Choreographer Award.   Ms. Vittum’s dance pieces have also been placed in the National Choreography Plans and presented at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.  In 1998, she was honored by the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and the Texas Commission for her contribution to the city with a choreography fellowship.
 
For over a decade, Ms. Vittum served on the faculty of Margo Marshall School of Ballet and as resident choreographer and associate artistic director of the City Ballet of Houston.  She was a faculty member of the Houston Ballet Academy and the Houston Ballet Company under the direction of Ben Stevenson.  She was also resident choreographer at Gwinnett Ballet Theater in Atlanta, GA where she staged new productions of The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Cinderella and choreographed original works that were presented at the Southeast festivals.
 

In addition to teaching at HRB, Ballet Center of Houston and Hope Stone, Ms. Vittum has been a guest teacher at Ballet Prejocaj of France, The Washington Ballet, and the Southeast and Southwest Regional Ballet Festivals, known today as Regional Dance America.  In August of 2011, at the request of Stanton Welch, Ms. Vittum was invited back to Houston Ballet to teach company classes.

Since then she continues as a guest teacher for Houston Ballet, Houston Ballet II and is in her third summer as a full time faculty member for their summer intensive program.

Regardless of a child’s experience and ability, Ballet Center of Houston offers a broad curriculum, starting with beginner classes for those who want to try ballet to advanced training for pre-professionals. We offer top quality training in a way that encourages optimal development in a caring family-friendly environment. Our teachers all have professional backgrounds and are passionate about teaching and sharing their love of dance with our students. 

We have a 20+ year track record of producing dancers from corps de ballet to principals with major companies throughout the US including American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Suzanne Farrell Ballet, just to name a few. 

Ms Vittum and Ms LeGault take an active role in discussing future goals with students and parents, aiding and advising on auditions, and assisting with contacts in universities and dance companies. 

In the classroom our teachers are committed to the development of each student. No matter what age, every student is important to us. 

In the office we are committed to making the parents’ lives easier! Regular email communication provides families with up to date information regarding classes, events, and performances. We also offer an online registration and payment system and through your parent portal, you can easily manage your payment account and student classes, plus access other important studio information. Not computer savvy? No problem, all communication and payments can be handled in the office with live and friendly office staff.

The Faculty

Victoria Vittum

Victoria Vittum

Founder

Nationally acclaimed teacher and choreographer, Victoria Vittum brings vision, passion, expertise and dedication to Ballet Center of Houston (BCH), which she founded in 1994.  Two years later, she co-founded Houston Repertoire Ballet with Gilbert Rome to extend training for talented … Read More

Barbara LeGault

Barbara LeGault

Dance Instructor

Barbara LeGault HRB’s Ballet Mistress is a graduate of Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Barbara Le Gault trained under Margo Marshall and was formerly with City Ballet of Houston. Since that time she has danced many … Read More

Kristy Nilsson

Kristy Nilsson

Dance Instructor

Kristy Nilsson began her training with Victoria Vittum de Bethencourt and Gilbert Rome at Ballet Center of Houston. She was a Dance Pedagogy Honors student at University of Oklahoma, and graduated Cum Laude from Houston’s High School for the Performing & … Read More

JoDee Engle

JoDee Engle

Dance Instructor

JoDee Engle is a native Houstonian and a graduate of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She also received her early training from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, where she studied under Lynette Mason-Gregg, Soili Arvola, and … Read More

Catherine Busch

Catherine Busch

Dance Instructor

Catherine Busch trained at the Ballet Center of Houston under Victoria Vittum and Gilbert Rome from 1994-2000. Ms. Busch was a member of Houston Repertoire Ballet from 1996-2000, dancing roles in “The Nutcracker,” “Napoli,” “Giselle,” and numerous original works by … Read More

Kristen Newsom

Kristen Newsom

Dance Instructor

Kristen Newsom is an alumna of Ballet Center of Houston, receiving her early dance training under the direction of Victoria Vittum de Bethencourt and Barbara LeGault.  She was a Houston Repertoire Ballet company member from 2004 – 2011.  Kristen received her Bachelors of Fine … Read More

Leah Stephens Smith

Leah Stephens Smith

Dance Instructor

Leah Stephens Smith was born in El Paso, Texas. Her family moved shortly after to Monroe, Louisiana where she received most of her training at the Linda Lavender School of Dance. She was also a performing member for many years with … Read More

Leah Stark

Leah Stark

Dance Instructor

Leah Stark joined BCH in 2006 after graduating from the University of Hawaii and moving to Texas to continue her education. She received her early ballet and teaching training in the Vaganova method from Cynthia Murphy at the Alexander Academy of … Read More

Lacey Flowers

Lacey Flowers

Dance Instructor

Lacey Flowers was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela and was introduced to dance at age eight, but did not start her classical ballet training until the age of 21.  She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance form Texas Tech University … Read More