Violetta Komyshan is a ballet it girl who’ll totally steal your heart
Violetta Komyshan is the ultimate it girl. With 657,000 followers on Instagram, a killer ballet career and Ansel Elgort as her boyfriend, it’s really no shock that everyone is obsessed with her. The 21-year-old New York native is pretty much living every girl’s dream, spending most of her days doing what she loves and her summers traveling across the world. Still, despite all of her success, Violetta is still one of the sweetest people you’ll come across.
“[Dance] fell into my life.” Violetta told Galore. “I lived in the Ukraine for a year. My mom is Ukrainian and I moved there when my parents were divorcing. While I was there, everyone was like, ‘You should be a ballerina!’ because I was kind of tiny and my bones were super hyper extended and weird. But it never happened and I came to New York and Eliot Feld’s company invited me to dance. Once I was in fifth grade, I went to a small school and danced with them. Then I went to high school for dance.”
Now dancing for BalletNext and with plans in the works to start a fashion line, it’s clear that there is no stopping this girl. I recently caught up with Violetta and asked her about her career plans, success as a social media star and all of her incredible adventures.
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You went to LaGuardia High School for dance. Did you ever feel like you missed out on the “typical high school experience” because you went to a performing arts school or were you just happy to be doing what you loved?
I actually went to LaGuardia because you get the typical high school experience. When I was with Eliot Feld, I could’ve continued with their high school program, but I chose to go to LaGuardia because you get that full on high school experience even though you’re surrounded by like crazy art people the entire time! You work for a magazine, you know what I mean [laughs]. It was awesome. I had friends, I had classes, I had lunch, parties… All the normal things and then I had dance. We were on the eighth floor, the dancers, it’s so serious up there but you get the best of both worlds.
That’s awesome. So I noticed you recently got verified on Instagram! How does that feel?
It’s cool! It’s fun. I think it needed to happen just because even when I was at 100,000 followers, I remember all my friends were like, “Violetta I can’t find you on Instagram you have so many different pages.” But it was just fans making like “love Violetta,” “Violetta dances,” “Violetta ballet”… Then it’s embarrassing because your friends can’t find you and they’re like ,“Why do you have so many Instagrams?!” Then I’m like oh god how do I explain this! But it’s fun.
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Do you ever feel pressured to post a certain way because you have such a huge social media following?
Totally, but I’m so embracing it now. Different brands are always reaching out and [they] are like “We’re gonna send you stuff, post it.” Like “Wear this, wear that.” It’s fun! It’s all fun. Then I can post my dance and there are thousands of comments that are like “We love you! Oh my god so beautiful!” But I like being genuine. Now I really do think about every single post and everything I’m writing. I don’t want to ever say anything that’s mean or rude and not honest.
A lot of people with big followings don’t like to read the comments on their Instagram photos because they don’t want to come across hate. But you like to read the comments?
Yeah! I guess if you’re a super controversial person and have some crazy stuff or you post things that aren’t liked by everyone. But no, I don’t have any negative stuff!
Everyone loves you!
I know! It’s so sweet. I don’t know why. [laughs]
People seem to get pretty crazy about what’s a “good” Instagram nowadays. What do you think makes a good Instagram?
Anything that I like is anything I do. I love ballet Instagrams, I love fashion Instagrams. I follow so many different brands. Every time anyone wears something that I’m obsessed with I follow the brand. But I like genuine Instagrams. When every single post is an ad, it’s not that fun to follow or when every photo you post is you naked it’s not that fun either. Not saying you shouldn’t do that, be you! But I’m not interested that. Whatever you like is good for you.
Totally. Do you have a favorite account that you follow?
This guy named Nisian, he was my first dance photographer that reached out to me. I’d been following him for a long time, he’s by the way my favorite that I’ve ever worked with — obviously I love Arthur Elgort and Sophie Elgort! But Nisian photographs every principal ballerina. You have to check out his Instagram, it’s so dope. It’s all these ballerinas, he loves muscles. He does a little bit controversial photos, you’re like topless or naked but he’s like “I want to see your muscles!” It’s so cool. When I shot with him, it was my first time and I was never used to it but I showed up and it was so professional and the photos were insane. I’ve shot twice with him now and we’re already planning our third shoot! I really hope he does well.
Is Instagram your favorite social media? Or do you prefer Twitter, Snapchat, etc?
I think Instagram! I like Twitter too though, I’ve been Twitter for a long time.
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So you recently got back from traveling the world with Ansel! Tell us a little bit about that experience.
Yeah! It was so cool. We started in New Zealand and Australia, and I didn’t know it was winter there. So I show up and my suitcase only has like dresses and I’m like, it’s freezing! I had one jacket that I wore the entire time that I was there. Malaysia was really cool because you’re in your hotel and you’re having your epic breakfast buffet and you look around and there’s just like Indian people, Chinese people, Muslim people… and you’re all eating breakfast together. It’s just kind of crazy to be mixed into all these different cultures and I just couldn’t stop looking at people because it’s just so cool to see everyone together. Brazil was awesome. Everyone’s so nice there and the food is insane. Mexico City has a great art culture. In Sao Paolo we were walking around and there were so many dancers! I kept seeing ballet photo shoots going around and I was like, this is awesome! Why don’t I live here?
Obviously Ansel is in the industry too. What’s the best part about dating someone who’s also creative?
You just throw ideas at each other. We’re like both super nerds! [laughs] I always have new business ideas and I’m obsessed with space and astronomy. I’ll come up with something really wacky and crazy or he’ll come up with something and you never feel insecure or weird saying it to him or back to me. We’re both creative artists so he’s always like, “I wanna do this I wanna do that…” and I’m like, I wanna design, I wanna draw, let’s paint something. We once made a photo collage of a bunch of his dad’s photos he took of us. We have this hobby where we go out and find clams and oysters and his dad took a bunch of pictures of us digging for clams. So we cut up all of the photos and made a crazy collage and painted over it and now it’s in his house! It’s awesome, it’s really, really fun dating someone creative when you’re both like that.
You starred in the music video for his song “Thief.” Are you guys planning to work on any new projects like that together?
He has a ton of music coming out that’s insane, I can’t wait for everyone to hear it. That song actually wasn’t even about me, it wasn’t about anyone. He co-wrote it with someone and they had a concept and they went off it. There’s a few songs that are about me, so I don’t know, we’ll see! I guess you do want to imagine a cool music video. I hope he puts ballet into it, I think that’s cool!
If you could star in a music video for any song, what would it be and why?
Ansel’s songs come first! There are a few songs out right now that are actually about me so that probably would make the most sense. That was the craziest thing, I was on my phone listening to “All I Think About Is You” and it’s about me and I’m listening to the lyrics and they’re so cute and I’m walking and it’s sunny and then I’m like, oh shit! This song is about me! [laughs] You know when you imagine yourself in the songs? And I’m like yes! This is real life! This is about me. This is like a movie, I’m the girl that he’s thinking about. [laughs] But “Unforgettable” is so good, I know it’s overplayed! In my ballet company, we listen to classical music sometimes but other times it’s always usually my Spotify that we put on shuffle and we’ll take ballet barre to it and it’s really cool. That song always comes on and everyone loves it! It makes you feel creative. Anything Drake, we love Drake right now. BalletNext, we’re like obsessed with Drake. We’ll do our planks and centers to Drake!
Are you creative in any other ways besides dance?
I like to draw. I’m really working hard right now to start my own design company, my own fashion line. I have a friend who went to Parsons and a friend who went to FIT and they both know how to do it so I think we’re going to find a way to do something together. I feel like maybe I should go to school for it! But it’s also fun to work with someone who knows that side of things and then just using whatever you know too. I don’t sing… [laughs] Actually, I did a little bit of theater when I was younger so I did sing a little, like theater music.
Would you ever get into acting?
It has to be the right thing. It’s hard to agree to that, it has to be the right moment. Also, I don’t want to like want to do it because it would be weird with Ansel’s life. He’s the actor and I’m the dancer. Maybe one day there will be an acting dancing movie I can do!
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You have such great style, I’m always watching what you wear. What’s one thing in your closet that never fails to make you feel sexy and confident?
Shoes! I am obsessed with shoes. I feel like I can wear anything with just a crazy pair of shoes and everyone will be like, “Your outfit is so good!” And you’re like are you sure it’s not just my shoes? I think shoes are sexy and fun. And then I love lingerie. I have a lot of nice bras and underwear so it’s matching.
You always feel so much better when everything is matching!
Yeah! Then one of my favorite companies ever, Cosabella, is sending me gifts now and I’m like I’ve been buying you since I was a little girl and now I’m getting presents! I still go in there though and spend way too much money. [laughs]
If you could steal any celeb’s closet, who would it be and why?
Selena Gomez! She has the most insane outfits. And Hailee Steinfeld, like they really know what they’re doing. Every time they’re on the red carpet I’m like, this is so good! Even when I see them wearing their casual stuff.
Lastly, what’s one thing you think every girl should have in their closet?
A good jacket or coat. You can throw it over anything and it can make an outfit completely change.
Photography by @photosbykeridolan