Yaroslava Kharchenko

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“My career started when I was very little. Ever since I can remember, I was always
putting on shows at home and even charging for tickets. My mother was an athlete
with many high-level medals in Ukraine. She competed in gymnastics, figure skating,
and tennis. Needless to say, I inherited all this from my mama. At 6 years old, she
enrolled me in gymnastics and ballroom dancing, but I was not hooked. Then she took
me to a ballet class. It was here that I felt that special click and it inspired me- it was at
this moment that I knew ballet was what I was meant to do in life, my first love. Shortly
after that discovery, I got accepted to a professional ballet school in Kharkov, Ukraine.
A few years later, I auditioned for Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in St.
Petersburg. This was a huge moment for me. However, I never attended because that
was when my parents and I immigrated to Toronto, Canada. Despite the life change,
my ballet career did not stop there. Throughout all my school years in Canada till the
age of 18, I was in extensive professional ballet training schools with the sole purpose
to become a prima ballerina. Of course, training was rough at times but I understood
that I chose a youth-oriented career that required 6 to 8 hours a day, 6 days a week,
sometimes 7 during performance seasons, non-stop for 10 years and no time for
“During my high school years, I tried out theater and fell in love with acting and was
also interested in modeling. It was an extremely hard decision to leave the ballet world.
It broke my heart, but I knew it would always be a part of me. The true gift from ballet is
that it taught me extremely valuable lessons and qualities that I now have for life:
discipline, hard work, listening to critique and applying it, listening to directions, my
love for classical music and a great physique.”
“The next chapter starts with acting classes for film and getting signed to a modeling
agency. Modeling took me overseas to some amazing places such as Tokyo, Athens,
and Barcelona. I became well-traveled. This allowed me to grow my love for
experiencing different cultures, meeting new people from all over the world, and
learning new languages. I was able to experience all these things for months at a time
meanwhile working. I’d say it doesn’t get better than that. Eventually I had to stop
traveling and devote all my attention to acting.”

“I was going to study acting in an academy in New York, but I realized that LA is where
the film industry is at. And that is how I ended up in Los Angeles. How can you say no
to great weather and living by the ocean? I went on and got a Bachelor of Fine Arts
degree from a very hands on program. Once I arrived to LA, I was immediately
experiencing the value and impact of being here. On the very first day, I found myself
on the back lot of Universal Studios with a script in hand, getting ready to shoot a
scene. It was unbelievable and exciting. It was very evident that LA is the city I was
meant to live in. It is the center of the entertainment industry and like-minded creative
“During the first few years in this city, I was training and developing my acting chops. I
found love for the film-making business, producing and directing. These years
definitely opened my eyes to infinite creative possibilities and the stories I could tell.”
“Talking about infinite creative possibilities, social media changed the game, creating
all sorts of platforms for artists, so they could showcase their talents to the world. It’s a
brilliant resource, and not about celebrities or famous people. It’s about sharing your
craft, telling a story, delivering news and knowledge, authentically being yourself, living
your truth, and showing your creativity and vision. Social media has created so many
new careers as well: content creators, influencers, bloggers/vloggers, live streamers
and social media marketers and managers.”

“Over the last few years especially during 2020 pandemic I have been focusing on my
future projects, creating as many ideas and concepts as I could. I had an awesome
opportunity during this time. I was working as a content creator for a platform creating
and shooting videos every single day such as ballet videos, satires and skits, creating
short shows, and fashion videos. From this opportunity, I found a new interest of mine –
tv hosting.”

“Currently I am designing and developing a fashion brand called Saint-Étienne. The
main focus of the brand is quality fabric and trendy yet timeless pieces. The first line
will range from comfort but “make it fashion” pieces that we got accustomed to during
the lockdowns to sexy yet elegant garments. The Saint-Étienne launch is scheduled for
Summer 2021. Another project that I am working on is developing a new and different
concept for influencers to post quality content, expand their fanbase, and make
money. It is a website and an app. I have a great team working with me on this and I’m
very excited for this new venture into the tech world. And, of course, I am ready to get
out there again once Hollywood fully opens and start auditioning for film and tv roles.
I’m looking forward to traveling, seeing new countries, whether it’s for work or vacation.
I gain inspiration, new ideas and creative energy from these experiences. Traveling
fuels me.”

My dream job and goals for the near future is to host FashionTV, see new destinations,
checkout fashion shows and the latest trends, all while interviewing designers,
photographers and models, showing behind the scenes of photo shoots, and so much
more. This is definitely my kind of work.”
“I am a huge advocate for positive thinking. Thus, the future looks bright in my
perspective. I believe in hard work, passion and drive. Also, it is so important to have
fun while you’re at it, trying new things and not being afraid of failure. There are and will
be bumps up the road, but believe in yourself always, learn from your mistakes, and
keep going.”
“Thank you to my mother and my sister, my two guardian angels, for looking out for me
and giving me strength, as well as my Dad who is now also a resident of Los Angeles,
and my super cool dog Bruno. ”

Yaroslava Kharchenko
A Ukrainian-born ballerina, model and actress. Yaroslava was raised in Toronto, Canada and now resides in Los Angeles, CA.

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