Interview: Violetta Komyshan

by Ceylan Kumbarji

Born and bred in New York, Violetta Komyshan is a true creative. At just 20-years-old, she already has a confidence and wisdom beyond her years and although she’s aiming for a career in dance, she doesn’t want to limit herself and wants to explore. She’s recently started doing YouTube ballet/fitness videos, making leotards and has been in a film, as well as focusing on her passion for dance and studying. “I’m still 20 and I think its better to want to do everything and start finding your way. With dance, of course no matter what I always want to be dancing. That is priority. But I’m already brainstorming other things related to dance like designing leotards or even acting in a movie that’s movement or dance based. Anything with art!”

After studying at the prestigious LaGuardia, it was the perfect place for Violetta to get inspired and realise her love for the world of arts. It was only after she graduated that it really came into perspective for her. Currently studying for her undergraduate degree, Violetta says, “I enjoy learning and thinking about what I wanna do next. The economics classes are helping me become a person in New York City.”

Taylor Magazine: Tell us a bit about how you spend your days and what you’re up to.

Violetta Komyshan: I go to school in New York and I did Business and Administration. I got really lucky because of joining a company out of high school for dance. My grades were good so I got to go to school for free. A lot of students had that dilemma early on about whether or not to pursue their art or to continue with school but I’m currently studying things I like. For example, I study French because I want to study what I enjoy.

Taylor Magazine: Your high school was so incredible, how was it to study there and what did you take from the experience?

Violetta Komyshan: With LaGuardia, I saw how talented and amazing everyone was and how great the school was. When you’re in high school, you’re dreading it and can’t wait to leave. I was studying a lot but then the second half of the day was all dance so balancing that was difficult, us dance majors had to leave later than everybody! When I left, I really appreciated it even more. It was a place where I felt really comfortable around other artists and other people who think the same way.

Sometimes I’ll say something that people don’t really understand because I look at things in a certain way. When me and my friends go and see a show we talk about the artistic part of it, and focus on the technique and things like that. So at LaGuardia, I really felt like I was a part of something. Everyone saw things the way I did or they saw it completely differently but in an artistic way. It was cool.

Taylor Magazine: So what’s a typical day for you?

Violetta Komyshan: Well, I always love having breakfast. It’s my favourite meal of the day so no matter what I always eat breakfast. I go to class and then maybe rehearsal. If I have a day with no rehearsal I’ll go and take an open ballet class in Manhattan or I’ll go to my gym and do a yoga class.

Taylor Magazine: You get to do what you love every single day, but it must require a lot of physical and mental strength too.

Violetta Komyshan: Yeah for sure, it gets pretty exhausting. As I get older things start hurting and my knees start cracking weirdly. I’m 20 and I feel like my body’s hurting! Over time you realise how hard it is. Ballet is the hardest thing in the entire world.

Taylor Magazine: Speaking of dancing… How did you get started?

Violetta Komyshan: I didn’t start dancing until I was 9 which is kinda old for most people. When I was 4, my parents were getting divorced. They’re both originally from Europe and my dad was going back to Russia so I moved to Ukraine. My father dropped me off at my mum’s family home and I was there for the whole year. Everyone kept telling me to join ballet because I was this tiny, kind of tall, skinny girl and I was very flexible. I moved back to New York and that’s when my passion for it started. I was in elementary school and I was so lucky because it fell into my life. Even afterwards, for LaGuardia I prepared some of my audition for lag but improvised some of the middle. I didn’t have anyone helping me and got into the school. I felt that whatever it is I have it. I’m very lucky.

Taylor Magazine: What’s the most rewarding part of what you do?

Violetta Komyshan: Just doing what I love every day, it sounds kinda cheesy! I have this thing that I know I enjoy. It’s rewarding because I feel like I can do it and knowing I can do something makes me happy. With dance, there’s no limit to how much you can keep trying to get better. You’ll never stop reaching for something with ballet… some people get upset by the fact that there’s no end but I like that you keep trying. It’ll never stop.

Taylor Magazine: Where would you want to be in five years time?

Violetta Komyshan: Definitely somewhere in a really good place within dance. I obviously hope to have finished my degree at school. Also, I’ll hopefully have my own business going on whether it’s my leotards or trying to make clothing, but it’ll definitely be a business within art. That’s my passion.

Photographer - Sophie Elgort |

Photographer – Sophie Elgort |

Taylor Magazine: What did you want to be when you were younger?

Violetta Komyshan: It’s funny, I wanted to be a flight attendant or an astronaut. I was really into planes too and then I recently realised that would be terrible because I’m so terrified of flying! I don’t know why, it just happened. I like to be grounded, that’s why I’m a ballerina.

Taylor Magazine: You travel a lot which looks like so much fun! What’s your favourite place that you’ve been to?

Violetta Komyshan: I wanna say Bali. I’ve been obsessed with Bali for so many years because I really got into yoga and I know that it’s very spiritual there. I flew 20 hours to hang out in Bali for 3 days. I did a 15 hour flight to South Korea with a 5 hour layover and then went to Bali. It was pretty crazy but I got there and it was the best trip of my life. I loved it so much, I can’t wait to go back.

Taylor Magazine: Where’s your favourite place to visit in New York?

Violetta Komyshan: I love Union Square and 66th Street. There’s a farmer’s market at Union Square so I love going and walking around. I definitely enjoy being around the Upper West Side because it’s quieter. It’s so pretty and there’s so many things to go and see. The Lincoln Centre is gorgeous. It’s a different vibe, and I went to school there so it has a special place in my heart.

Taylor Magazine: What’s your favourite thing about living in the city?

Violetta Komyshan: You can’t leave the house without being a little bit entertained every single day. I bet it’s the same in London! You walk outside and there’s something or someone, and you just smile or you feel some sort of way. It’s nice. Whenever I’m at home, if I’m feeling upset or anything I walk outside.

Taylor Magazine: What else do you if you’re feeling down or you’re not having a great day?

Violetta Komyshan: I like to just get out of the house. I go to dance class or I work out. That always makes me feel better. I talk to friends, just little simple things that you can do. I think people know in the back of their minds what makes them happy so I try to do exactly that. There’s no secret answer.

Although she’s busy with school and dance, she also makes time for fun freelance projects. With the possibility of joining an agency on the horizon, it’s an exciting time for Violetta. This month, she’ll be walking at New York Fashion Week for Vogue as part of the “Made for History,” fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. With her following on social media growing by the day, she’s also working on her own fitness videos focused on ballet when she found a gap in the market for this.

Taylor Magazine: You’ve got a massive following on social media, particularly on Instagram. Does that feel weird to you?

Violetta Komyshan: At first it was weird but I got used to it. With social media, I try to mean well all the time. When I post something I don’t wanna make anyone feel insecure and I’ve definitely been a lot more cautious of what I write and what I post but it’s all out of a good heart. It’s a little bit strange but it’s social media… why would you put it up if you don’t want people seeing it?

Taylor Magazine: What else are you working on at the moment? Your fitness project seems really exciting!

Violetta Komyshan: I’m working with Warren Elgort who’s a filmmaker on this YouTube page. We want to start doing some fitness stuff. I recently did a stretching video because a lot of girls ask me how I stretch to get flexible. There’s certain ways that I do it to keep my hips lose and prevent injury which is always important, you have to stretch things out.

Taylor Magazine: How did the idea for that come about?

Violetta Komyshan: I looked at existing ballet based workouts and I felt like there weren’t that many that were real. There’s not enough motion. I was a little upset and disappointed so I just thought, “Why not do something for fun, something ballet based? That’s what I know and that’s what I do why so not share it?”

Taylor Magazine: It seems that you’re so busy at all times! What do you do if you have a day off and have absolutely no plans?

Violetta Komyshan: I always have to dance or work out. I have to move! But other than that, I’ll meet up with friends which I don’t usually have a lot of time to do or I’ll roam New York City and go to cute cafes because I never stop finding things here. Sometimes I do have days where I wanna stay at home and watch Netflix.

Taylor Magazine: What have you been watching anything at the moment?

Violetta Komyshan: A show called Nikita. I didn’t finish watching it when it was on TV but now it’s on Netflix so I was really happy! I feel like every time I watch a new show, I want to do that career. I was watching Grey’s Anatomy and I wanted to be a doctor.

Taylor Magazine: Are you quite a healthy eater or do you have a lot of cheat days?

Violetta Komyshan: Definitely, who doesn’t?! I don’t like sweetened things but I love candy. Otherwise, I eat very healthy food because I have to and I feel better when I do. As I get older, I’ve been trying to figure out what’s good for my body and what’s not. I need to take vitamins and eat vegetables because it makes my skin nicer.

Taylor Magazine: What do you love to eat?

Violetta Komyshan: I live on eggs, I’d eat eggs three times a day if I could. I’m also a huge seafood addict. That’s what me and my boyfriend go and eat. I’m not a vegetarian but I don’t eat red meat or lamb because I don’t like the way it tastes so I’m very into seafood.

Taylor Magazine: What advice what you give your 12-year-old self?

Violetta Komyshan: That’s a good one. Firstly, I would tell myself to stop worrying so much and to stop overthinking things. I don’t know if everyone does that but for me, I’m always overthinking things. I’d tell my 12-year-old self that things fall into place but also to try everything. You have every opportunity to try things when you’re young. If you want to play piano, play piano. If you want to read, read a lot of books. It’s only going to benefit you when you get older. I would also tell myself not to touch my eyebrows or cut my hair.

Taylor Magazine: What advice would you give people to make a relationship work? In general, relationships can be tricky, especially trying to balance them while you’re young and ambitious.

Violetta Komyshan: You have to be able to learn to work together so that whether you’re together or apart, you’re happy. You are a team so it’s team work. If someone’s upset, it’s about being there for them but also not forgetting that you have your own life. That’s important, because your partner always appreciates when you’re doing what you love. You have to do your own thing but also work together. We have a maximum of two weeks apart. Even if someone else has that problem where they’re apart too much, find a way to see each other. Two weeks is good.

Taylor Magazine: Do you believe in soulmates?

Violetta Komyshan: Yeah, I do. Not in the exact way people think it is but I do believe in love for sure. I love being in love.

Taylor Magazine: Are you quite romantic person?

Violetta Komyshan: I wasn’t really when I was younger but after I had a boyfriend, I got a lot more romantic because of him. I do appreciate it a lot and I think it’s lovely and beautiful.

Taylor Magazine: Tell us something we don’t know about you. Something weird and random.

Violetta Komyshan: I can’t drive. To some people that’s really strange. I can’t stand cars. I love the subway. I can’t live somewhere that doesn’t have a subway because I get so carsick. I will take the subway everywhere.

Taylor Magazine: What’s your favourite quote?

Violetta Komyshan: That changes a lot but there’s this one by Ayn Rand from Atlas Shrugged. In the book, “Two things were impossible to him: to stand still or to move aimlessly.” I love that because it’s what I feel sometimes.

Taylor Magazine: Final words of wisdom?

Violetta Komyshan: I’ve gone through those times where you almost think you have to do something different and look different and act different but no, you don’t. You have to be the best version of yourself. It’s a lifelong struggle. It’s okay to keep trying and aiming bigger and bigger.

Violetta Komyshan

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