Athena Nikolakopulos began studying ballet at the young age of 2 ½ and early on was inspired to pursue dancing as a professional career. She studied intensely under Vera Ninkovic, Roberto Almaguer, and Marat Daukayev in the Los Angeles area where she was born and raised. She attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she earned her Bachelors in Fine Arts. Athena is a two-time YAGP NY Finalist and has performed internationally in Bari, Italy. Currently, she is working towards her teaching credentials from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg. Athena is ever inspired by the continued preservation of ballet and is grateful to have performed roles such as Odette, Nikiya, and Kitri – paying homage to all the ballerinas before her and continuing the tradition. Athena joined City Ballet of San Diego in 2018 first as an Apprentice, having an eventful last year debuting as the Solo Girl in George Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht Ballet and Turning Girl in Who Cares? , as well as performing Marius Petipa’s Grand Pas de Deux form Le Corsaire. This season marks Athena’s first season as a full company member.