She left without saying goodbye

Iana got on the train to Donetsk. She was happy to finally go back home to Kiev and this time, forever. But her feelings were divided. In fact, a certain sadness came upon her.

The engine of the train started running and the wheels slowly began to turn. Iana laid back in her seat and closed her eyes and as she did this, images started appearing in her mind about the year that had just past. She knew that she was heading towards a new goal in her future.

A guilty feeling would constantly reappear

Iana had left many friends behind. She had a feeling of comfort in the city and really liked the people in Donetsk.

Everything she loved began in this city; her professional education towards becoming a ballerina, her first performances and the first admiration from the audience. But what she regretted the most was not saying goodbye to the ones who supported her and helped to make her dreams come true.

Two special people: Irina Pisareva and Vadim Pisarev. Even today, this thought is heavy on her soul. Irina was there for her when she struggled the most. In particular when Iana didn’t know if she could continue to follow her dream to dance.

Irina gave her food, shelter, nurtured her and gave her the strength through love and compassion which was vital for her to continue.

Vadim Pisarev was a father like figure, teacher and incredible dancer

Vadim was a famous ballet dancer at the time that Iana and her brother started their education. He also held the highly renowned position as Artistic Director of the state Academy of Opera and Ballet in Donetsk, known far beyond the borders of Ukraine.

He then continued creating the international „World Ballet Stars“ festival of which he also became director and he created the Master School of Choreography. Iana and her brother knew how fortunate they were to be under the wings of a true master of the art of ballet.

Donetsk, my new city and my beloved new home

There was nothing Iana would miss in Donetsk, apart from her family in Kiev. She would share an apartment with another balletdancer. Vadim Pisarev was able to acquire this apartment for them, which madeIana very happy because now she would be able to enjoy more freedom.

There wasn’t a nanny anymore who would follow her around everywhere and tell her offfor certain things she would do. That’s how she remembered her time in the dormitory.

This was the time Iana would grow creatively, not only in her ballet education or during her performances on stage in Donetsk but inother areas of life as well.

She also attended a modelling school to become a photography Model. The school was very near to the theatre. The classes provided knowledge on things like how to use the right make up and how to applyit.

She was taught how to walk on a catwalk and everything one would need to know about casting. Once she even received an offer to work with a Parisian modelling agency.

It all seemed so exciting and Vadim Pisarev supported her all the way. He thought it was important for Iana to grow as an artist and to learn about other ways to be creatively active. He even encouraged her to take part in the drama classes at the theatre.

Of course with so many new things to learn, Iana wouldn’t have much time for other things like partying or hanging out withfriends; only very intense work.

To leave Donetsk was not an easy decision but Iana knew it was time to move on in order for her to grow and experience different aspects of her dream. The decision didn’t come over night.

„Should I stayor should I not stay?“

„Should I really leave the city that gave me so much love and support? The ballet teachers who set me on the path to my dream career? “

These questions were constantly running through her mind. She tried to tell herself that this would be her way of giving back for all the good things she had been given but her thoughts were pulling her in different directions and she didn’t know what to do. She didn’t feel comfortable enough to talk to anyone about it so she kept it to herself which would eventually start eating her up inside.

Her brother, Jaroslaw, decided for himself that he would never go back to Donetsk.  Iana decided to follow him to Boston, America to take part in a tour. From there, Jaroslaw received a contract from the balletdirector of Boston to work in his company as a ballet dancer. Iana received the same offer but she had a different idea about what she wanted to do next. Her idea was to go back to Donetsk to train more and improve herself. This was the placewhere she could experiment with her artistry on stage. 

Boston wasn’t the end destination for Ianas‘ brotherJaroslaw. He later went on to dance with Miami Ballet. Miami seemed to be abetter place for him to dance. This decision didn’t seem to have any influence on Iana however, so she flew back to Donetsk and would be there on her own this time, without her brother. This made her miss her family back home in Kiev evenmore. She felt alone and was in need of her parents and all she wanted now was to go back home.

Later, a new love interest emerged for Iana

 He was a Japanese dancer from Kiev. He was already very successful in his career. Iana experienced quite strong feelings for him. He told Iana that he was watching one of her performances in Donetsk and that from that moment on, he was alreadyin love with her.

My new Japanese boyfriend seemed a little obsessed with me

He was fascinated by Iana’s dancing. He felt that it was powerful yet effort less and elegant. She had the ability to emotionally transform the audience with her roles. He would come more frequently to Donetsk to see her. At one point he started to insist for her to move to Kiev with him and become a Ballerina in the Kiev company. Was that what she should do? She didn’t know.

Let’s live and work together in Kiev

Iana was deeply flattered by the attention she got from him. He would have done anything for her. She enjoyed this attention but she also had the desire to be independent and follow her own path.
Iana’s boyfriend asked her if she would go with him to Japan, his home country, in order to participate in an international ballet competition. After a long flight, they arrived in Japan where Iana was introduced to his mother. His mother was incredibly important to him.

He worshiped her like a Goddess. Iana found the Japanese culture and traditions to be very interesting and everyone was so kind to her. It brought her great joy to see the respect they had for the ballet dancers.

Iana was also overjoyed to receive a special prize at the competition. Her experiences in Japan were a big part of her decision to move back to Kiev.

She had a good heart and she never forgot the people by her side

That was the tipping point for her to move back to Kiev. The moment Iana let go, she felt the pain. It hurt deep within her heart because she had left behind good people; good friends. Iana had never been the type of person who would show her inner feelings to others. She either expressed them through dancing or kept them buried inside herself. She had kept all of these emotions hidden because it was important to her to develop her skills, expand her horizons and strive to become the best ballerina she could. The thought of her being with her boyfriend in Kiev and being with her parents again were important factors in her decision to move back to Kiev.


„We will shortly be arriving in Kiev.“  Said a voice from the speaker on the train. Iana opened her eyes. Finally, very soon she would see her family again.

„Daddy, could you drive back to Donetsk one more time and explain to Vadim Pisarev why I had to leave without saying goodbye or telling him why?“

Iana begged her father, Anatoli, after her tears upon arrival had dried. Anatoli couldn’t deny the request of his daughter. He drove back to Donetsk and explained to Vadim why Iana had returned to Kiev. He tried his best but he felt a little lost for words. However, Vadim was very understanding. He only wanted the best for Iana.

Iana mentioned at the end of our conversation: „Today, I’m more sure than ever that I had the best dance education in the best school in the world. Therefore I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, Vadim Pisarev and Irina Pisareva, for your love and support throughout all these years. You will always have a place in my heart.“