Sofya Arzhakovskaya (Sofya Skya) - Russian and American film actress, ballet dancer. Born August 12, 1987 in Leningrad (St. Petersburg, Russia).
At the age of nine, fascinated by ballet and contemporary dance, Sofya Skya joined the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. Turning twelve years old, she moved to Ufa to continue her ballet training. There she graduated from the Ballet School named after Rudolf Nureyev. Having received an invitation from the Bashkir State Opera and Ballet Theatre, Sofya Skya starred as principal or a leading soloist in such ballets as the Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Snow White, Esmeralda and Raymonda.
Varied interests, attractive appearance and healthy thirst for adventure prompted Sofya to take part in beauty pageants, and she was nominated a winner five times before 2005. She also had the honour of opening the third Viennese Ball in Moscow. Moreover, she won in yet another beauty contest named as Russian Grace. In 2006, at the age of eighteen, Skya ranked in the top five and won the Mrs. World pageant, making her the first Russian who came top of this competition, thus, paving the way to other Russian contestants taking part in this prestigious show.
At approximately this time Sofya was also invited to Mrs America beauty contest (Tucson, Arizona) as former Mrs. World title holder, so that she could pass her title and crown to the new winner. It was during the finals that Sofya's dancing performance stole the spotlight and caught attention of American filmmakers. Thereafter she was approached by producer of Flashdance (Paramount Pictures) and invited to audition for the prospective role in the second part of this film.
Wishing to improve her professional skills, in 2008 Sofya Skya attended professional acting courses in the studio of Joan Baron (Los Angeles, USA). Simultaneously, she trained with Liza Melillo, coach and producer of such TV and film projects, as Walker and Churchill. Sofya Skya continued to hone her acting skills at Larry Moss's studio with international acting coach Michele Danner (founder of Michelle Danner Los Angeles Acting Studio). In the meantime, she took private classes with vocal coach Vida Simon. Like many young actors, Sophia participated in a great deal of auditions and landed her first cinema role.
Still busy with her studies, Sofya starred in the screen adaptation of Edgar Poe's Ligeia (2009) and appeared in John Kent Harrison's film The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler (2009), where she played a supporting role. There she collaborated with such leading Hollywood stars as Wes Bentley, Eric Roberts, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Christian Slater, Michael Madsen, Mark Dacascos, Cole Hauser and Anna Paquin, which proved to be an invaluable experience for Sofya, and helped her gain confidence in her own talents and acting skills. The combination of these factors influenced her decision to stay in the United States, -- the step supported by her other colleagues. The final decisive word here belonged to the director and screenwriter Roland Joffe.
Priorities of personal fulfillment shifted towards the cinema but this in no way lessened Sofya's love of dance and ballet: she never ceased to be a ballerina and continued to perceive herself as one. Probably, for this reason she was cast as dancer in a number of films. Sofya is also represented as a ballerina/actress by the commercial agency DDO – one of the leading agencies promoting and supporting young but already established film and theatre actors.
In Sofya Skya's own words, the support of her family and the demands of her own talent, confidence and the already gained invaluable experience proved to be decisive factors in the choice of further professional career. To these added suddenly opening new opportunities and positive prospects. As the actress' inner world is very complex and multi-layered, it is easy for her to get into different characters and reprise in a whole range of film roles. Sofya easily transforms herself into characters that differ radically from her in personality and image.
The birth of her child prompted the actress to devote more time to her family and gave her the opportunity to think about future projects not only on the film set, but also outside. Recently, Sofya founded the RAS STUDIO in Moscow and became its director. She has plans to launch an acting school on its premises. She also pursues a project, entirely new for the Russian film industry: the Acting Coach Bureau. She has developed a special programme based on her own experience and training received during her days in Hollywood, and hopes to train young professional actors for theatre and film industry