She has visited 24 countries, opened a dance studio in Rio de Janeiro, learned Portuguese in 3 months, received official recognition from LA City Hall for her work as a TV host, earned membership in the National Honor Society of Entertainment Arts, won the US West Coast Fred Astaire Ballroom Championship and started working as a professional dancer at Pasadena Symphony and Pops. In just one year, she earned two titles: Miss Russian LA & Miss Russian California. She has also started her own jewelry line – Anna Petrova Magnetic.
This impressive list of achievements is far from being complete. Anna has accomplished all this and more through perseverance, hard work and ingenuity! Such self-made individuals inspire us to reach new heights…
Anna’s life story is incredibly impressive. She grew up as a girl from an ordinary, Russian family with humble means to become a successful businesswoman who, on top of all her other achievements, has earned the title of Miss Russian Californian 2018.
What is your idea of a beauty queen?
In my mind, this title has always conjured up images of a fairy tale princess but after meeting Anna Petrova, Miss Russian California 2018, another comparison seems more fitting – Wonder Woman.
What is the secret to such remarkable success?
When you love what you do, you never have to make yourself do it. It may seem that I have enormous willpower but, in reality, I have always chosen to pursue what I enjoy and what interests me. Plus, I have been a dreamer since I was a little girl! If you follow your dreams, set goals, keep persevering despite obstacles, you will undoubtedly make your dreams come true.
What achievement are you most proud of?
During her last swimming lesson, my three year old daughter was swimming almost entirely by herself. I am so proud of her! It’s odd but I don’t have an enormous sense of pride over my big successes. It’s really the small, daily achievements that are somehow more precious.
What moment in your life ended up becoming a turning point?
It was in 2009 and Russia was suffering the aftermath of an economic crisis. The quality of my modelling work dropped from fashion sessions and grand shows to promo work as a Snow Maiden in a pub named “The Mug”. I had just broken up with my boyfriend, moved out of my rented apartment and moved back in with my mom in Yasenevo (a Moscow district). I was sitting in dreary morning, bumper-to-bumper traffic and doing the math: this stop-and-go traffic was robbing me of four hours a day! How much is that in a week? In a month? What about in a year? I remember, very vividly, the moment when I burst out in tears and made the decision to leave. I was aware that there is traffic everywhere but I was longing for sunlit traffic and a new adventure.
You studied dance in New York before moving to LA. You even lived in Brazil and opened a dance studio there. You continued your journey and left for Hong Kong. Do you like moving around or was it a search of self or an attempt to reach your potential? Where else would you like to live?
That was a search for self. When we run from a certain place, we are often running from ourselves. I was running away from my ‘Moscow-self’, then from my ‘California-self’, then from my ‘Brazil-self’ when I ended up in Hong Kong. It was there that I realized that I was ready to make internal rather than external changes. By then, I had been a master of my own schedule for so long that I felt the longing for structure and the desire to continue my education. I enrolled in film school and headed back to the classroom. This started the transformation process that began from the inside out. Now I’m convinced that it’s possible to begin a life in any big city given that you are comfortable with yourself. That’s why I am no longer in a hurry to run away again.
Los Angeles, just like New York, for that matter, is a city you either love or hate. What do you like about LA and do you miss Moscow?
Los Angeles has opportunities to fit any lifestyle – from the healthiest, with all the latest developments in rejuvenation and detox, to the most self-indulgent, Hollywood-style hedonism with daily parties, illegal gaming and social events in the homes of celebrities. You can choose whatever lifestyle suits you best. I love the fact that I can enjoy outdoor activities all year long: hiking, swimming, beach activities and yoga under the open sky.
I do miss the lack of familiar culture that is so dear to the Russian soul. When I am back in Moscow, I always try to catch up by going to the theater, expositions, museums, poem reading events and interesting lectures.
Finish the following phrase: Being a real woman means…
Accepting and loving ourselves and paying attention to our inner self. Then, out of the abundance of love for ourselves, we must care for that and for those that surround us. Being in harmony with ourselves and accepting all of our different roles will allow us to enjoy life to the fullest and will inspire others along the way.
What really makes you happy?
Dancing, music, time with family and friends, humor, flirting, traveling and the realization of how lucky I am in life.