Violetta Komyshan, who's a trained dancer, doesn't appear in West Side Story, but helped boyfriend Ansel Elgort prepare

By Nigel Smith and katieintner9
September 19, 2019 12:14 PM
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Ansel Elgort has been relying on some advice from his longtime girlfriend Violetta Komyshan for his lead performance Steven Spielberg’s anticipated remake of West Side Story.

Speaking to PEOPLE about Ralph Lauren Polo Red Remix, the fragrance he recently co-created with the brand, the actor revealed to PEOPLE that while Komyshan, who’s a trained dancer, doesn’t appear in the film, she helped him prepare to film the big-screen musical.

“Sometimes I show her my first position or my releve and she says, ‘You’re rolling back on your foot,’ something like that,” Elgort, 25, said.

The film, out December 2020, stars Elgort and Rachel Zegler as leading lovers Tony and Maria. Rita Moreno returns as Valentina, after winning an Oscar for playing Anita in the original 1961 adaptation of the musical by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents.

Ansel Elgort and Violetta Komyshan
Andrew H. Walker/WWD/Shutterstock

Elgort and Komyshan’s relationship dates back to their days at LaGuardia, the prestigious performing arts high school in New York City.

“I think he had his eye on me, because we were in the same lunch period or something,” Komyshan, 22, revealed during a Dec. 2017 interview with Cosmopolitan. “[One day freshman year] I was with my friend, and he was walking down the block. I didn’t even know he went to my school — I just thought he was really attractive. I looked at him and told my friend, ‘Oh my God, that guy’s so hot,’ and she’s like, ‘Oh, that’s Ansel, he goes to LaGuardia.'”

The dancer added that she thought he actually liked her friend, but she knew there was a spark between them when he waited for her after school the following day. After getting to know each other, they started dating at the end of her sophomore year.

The cast of West Side Story remake
Twentieth Century Fox

As a ballerina, Komyshan piqued Elgort’s interest immediately.

“If you’re like me and you love dancers, you just have to walk up to the eighth floor and you can get one,” the Baby Driver star said of his high school sweetheart in Elle‘s March 2015 issue.

“I like strong women. Physical women. My dad photographed a lot of beautiful dancers. My mom was a dancer,” he added. “I love when a girl is like, ‘I can’t hang out. I have to go to class.’ And I go pick her up and she’s all sweaty in a leotard with her hair in a bun. That’s the hottest thing ever.”

Elgort can currently be seen in The Goldfinch, which is now playing in theaters.