Studio to Street

BalletNext's Violetta Komyshan on Her Style Essentials From the Studio to the Red Carpet

Photo by Quinn Wharton

Though she's more at home in a leotard and tights, BalletNext's Violetta Komyshan is no stranger to red carpet glamour. Often attending award shows alongside her boyfriend, actor Ansel Elgort, Komyshan prefers to style herself. "I love dressing up," the New York City-based dancer says. "If you're going to the Oscars or a red carpet event, you need to be wearing the right thing to feel confident and secure—but I think that's true no matter where you're going."

In her day-to-day, Komyshan sticks to easy-to-wear dresses and fitted jeans from trendy brands like Revolve and Nasty Gal. But no matter what, she's never without a backpack. "My mom gave me a little black Prada backpack when I was younger, and I've been obsessed ever since," she says. "I never know if I'm going to want to take a class at Steps later or go to the gym, so backpacks let me carry everything I could need throughout the day."


In the studio, Komyshan injects a bit of her personality into her wardrobe, combining color with unique cuts (like this custom design, with a mesh neckline that creates the illusion that she's accessorized with a choker necklace). "I don't really wear warm-ups, so I'll look for leotards with cool detailing instead," she explains.

The Details—Street

Photo by Quinn Wharton

Zimmermann dress: Longer, flowy dresses like this pastel floral-print are a summer go-to for Komyshan.
7 For All Mankind jacket: "I like pairing a dress with a denim jacket like this one or a leather jacket—it's very New York to me."
Vagabond boots: "I live in boots and sneakers," Komyshan says. "I like to wear closed-toe shoes because my feet aren't very pretty. Plus, I'm on the subway and walking everywhere."
Uri Minkoff backpack: Featuring a metallic back, this is the current favorite in her ever-growing backpack collection.

The Details—Studio

Photo by Quinn Wharton at Steps on Broadway, NYC

Maldire Dancewear leotard: "I reached out to the designer after seeing someone wear one on Instagram," says Komyshan. "He does these beautiful, custom designs."
Repetto tights: "I usually wear footless, black tights over my leotard."
Gaynor Minden pointe shoes: "I just love them—they last months," Komyshan says, noting BalletNext founder Michele Wiles first told her about the shoes. "I wear elasticized ribbons with them," she adds. "They make your leg line look nice, and you don't have to worry about them falling out or fraying."

The Conversation
Ballet Stars
Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB

Your teacher at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Marcia Dale Weary, recently passed away. What impact did she have on you?

I feel deeply indebted to her. She shaped my life's course, and I know that were it not for her, I would not be living out my dream today. She led by example through her remarkable commitment to her work, as well as her genuine kindness and generosity.

You were a trainee with San Francisco Ballet. What was that experience like?

It was an exposure to different schools of thought. We were mostly in the full-lengths, and watching run-throughs of Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote was revolutionary for me. But I was young and far away from home. That transition was hard. My body started changing. It wanted to be fleshy. Biology is cruel in that way. I desperately wanted to fit in, but it wasn't meant to be.

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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Site Network
Left: Misa Kuranaga in The Veritginous Thrill of Exactitude. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy Boston Ballet. Right: Sasha Mukhamedov in Apollo. Altin Kaftira, Courtesy Dutch National Ballet.

San Francisco Ballet just announced some major news: longtime Boston Ballet star Misa Kuranaga will be joining the company as a principal dancer for the 2019-20 season, while Dutch National Ballet principal Sasha Mukhamedov has been hired as a soloist. They join a slew of newly promoted SFB principals and soloists, announced earlier this year.

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Ballet Stars
Xiao Nan Yu in company class. Aaron Vincent, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada.

On June 22, National Ballet of Canada principal Xiao Nan Yu will retire from the stage after 22 years with the company. Originally from Dalian, China, Yu studied at the Shen Yang School of Dance and the Beijing Dance Academy before coming to Canada's National Ballet School at age 17. She joined the National Ballet of Canada less than two years later, and was promoted to principal in 2001.

"She is a supreme dance actress with an innate ability to bring the audience into her world," says NBoC artistic director Karen Kain. "Nan has always brought such a calm confidence into the studio and has been a role model for so many dancers I will miss her generosity both inside the studio and out." We spoke with Yu as she prepared for her final week of performances. She opened up about her initial culture shock upon moving to Toronto, her thoughts on artistry and why she chose Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow as her final role.

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