Victoria Kershis

"Just to be here. Just enjoy the moment!"

January 20, 2015 / Yana Papaya / 1 comments

Name: Victoria Kershis aka Keshka Occupation: Surf-instructor Country of birth: Russia Country of residence: Bali, Indonesia

Name: Victoria Kershis aka Keshka
Occupation: Surf-instructor
Country of birth: Russia
Country of residence: Bali, Indonesia

My life is generous as it gives me everything I asked for and surrounds me with unique extraordinary people. But it doesn’t happen because I am special or so. Each of us has the opportunity to establish this dialogue with Life and make their dreams come true. All you need is to come up with YOUR dream or goal and have an internal intention of achieving it. Thus you need to establish the harmony between your soul and mind. Once your dream package is ready, it will be sent to the space. And finally you will also need to LET your dream Go, to let it travel within spaces. The universe will do a couple of turns to direct you and will put you to the right place at the right time. The only thing that is required from you is to be patient, relaxed and enjoy the journey towards your dream.

Incredible Victoria or Keshka came into my life very unexpectedly in September 2012. She came for a certain reason as for quite a long time I was dreaming  about meeting a surf soul mate buddy that would understand my passion for the ocean and would share common life views. I was looking online and checking the line-up or surf-sports for this kind of person. Some of new mates were nice but not 100% my sort of people. So I decided to stop looking for my surf-buddy, go on a surf-trip on my own and just continue to enjoy life.

However, on one day in September my dear friend from Russia told me about an amazing Russian girl living in Bali, surfing and travelling around the world now, but used to perform on big stage back in time. The image of this girl occupied my mind and I suddenly realised that I want to meet this girl and write a story about her as she seemed very inspirational… You won’t believe, but in a while my life gave me a chance to meet this fairy lady in New Zealand and what’s more to become her true surf buddy. After our first catch-up I already knew: “She is the one, my surf soul mate I was looking for. Thank you, Life!”

Straight away I was touched by her natural beauty: these big and shiny eyes, warm, intelligent smile and loud contagious laugh that I can still hear. But there was something else behind Victoria’s green eyes – it was those stories and life changing experiences she openly shared with me. I would probably need a lifetime to write a book about invincible Victoria and her adventures. So this interview will be my beginning. Here comes the story about a Russian ballet dancer who after a while decided to dedicate her life to another way of dancing – dance on the water and became a surfer.

The desire to finally learn English brought me to New Zealand. I started learning English on my own 2 years ago but felt lack of practicing it and decided to go to the English-speaking country where it won’t be possible to find another Russian (*Basically I am the only Russian Victoria met in New Zealand: “I am lucky that you found me and you are – Yana Papaya – is the best exception that could happen to me here.” Isn’t it sweet of her???).   Besides I’ve always wanted to visit this “aaaawesome” (as kiwis like to say) country. As for my travels I came down from Tahiti – the place, where I have wanted to go all my life and after my stay in New Zealand, I will be heading to Fiji to surf and then to South America, where I haven’t been before.

From my early age I kept on telling my family and friends that I have to go to Tahiti. Why? I didn’t know. I liked watching a Russian cartoon that was on TV about a parrot called Keshka who started every new conversation with the phrase: “Once upon the time when I was on Tahiti…”.  All my friends saw myself in this lovely parrot, that’s why everyone started to call me Keshka. When others asked me why I was so keen to go there, I just shrugged my shoulders and thought: “who knows maybe it’s the place where my destiny is,” – I was thinking of the man of my dreams.

Once I settled down on Bali and became a surfer I realised that I am a half-way from my dream. My dream was simple – I wanted to see the most famous and powerful wave in the world – Teahupoo with my own eyes. I wasn’t even thinking about riding this wave as it would have been a real suicide given my surfing level. It wasn’t that easy to get there, there were certain obstacles on my way – I couldn’t afford this trip financially or I got stuck at work or it was a rainy season and it was pointless to go. My life taught me to be patient. And the moment came I felt that I have to go RIGHT NOW. And so I came over to Tahiti, saw Teahupoo with my own eyes, watched pro-surfers at Billabong Pro contest and as everyone might guess, Yes, I met HIM – the man of my dreams. He turned out to be much better than in my dreams. And he is not a local guy from Tahiti (laughs).

Vika and Scott

I believe in signs-reading and predictions. My intense experience has showed me that everything happens for a reason and exactly at the right time, when the person is really ready something to happen. When you desperately want to get something but it feels like it’s not working out for you at this particular moment of time, you need to be patient and continue moving towards your dream, self-improving yourself along the way.

Fortune-telling is another interesting story. 6 months before I left ballet and moved to Bali where I became a yoga and surf instructor, my fortune-teller told me the following “…at the end of 2009 I would get a job offer that would change my life completely. You would be afraid and full of doubts whether your decision is right, but please don’t be afraid. You would never regret. I also see you surrounded by lots of people, they listen to you carefully. But I don’t see you in ballet and on stage…” My man (Scott) also had a chance to talk with a fortune-teller that told him: “You are going to meet your woman in a very unexpected place and your relationship would evolve quite quickly. I see her running through air, like a dancer, although she isn’t. I see her surrounded by many people and she explains something to them, while they are patiently listening.” How can you not believe your destiny after this?

My parents have never put pressure on me and have always supported my crazy ideas and for that I am very thankful for. I found out that my mum wanted to be a ballet dance only after I was in ballet for 5 years already. My mum didn’t want me to become a ballet dancer, as she knew how hard it was, but I wanted to learn ballet no matter what as I couldn’t help it!

My dad has always dreamt to live by the ocean and be a surfer, he watched a legendary “Pointbreak” movie about 500 times and last 300 times we watched this movie together (laughs). But I always thought that surfing is a lifestyle which is available only for a selected group of people –  those who were good enough in the previous lives and were given a chance to be born in Hawaii. When I discovered that surfing is much closer than I thought I had been already dancing for 16 years. I came across the ad about a Russian surf-school on Bali and went there for a holiday. When my holiday finished, I decided not to come back to Russia.

My passion for surfing captured me completely. None of the best parts on stage can be compared to the feeling of a wave-riding. When you surf a wave you’ve got gives you a feeling of harmony with yourself, as you feel so real, being completely YOURSELF and not somebody else. When you surf it’s just real you, no games, masks or pretension. The things that really matter is just YOU and the Ocean. I would say that only a surfer knows the feeling. By the way I taught my dad how to surf and since then he comes to Bali for a month every year and surfs like he’s been riding waves all his life.

Vika-03 Vika-Kershis-Surf-Vision Vika-10

My ballet story is the classical story of “Ugly Duckling”. The most important rule – is never give up. When I just started all the teachers were saying that I would be dismissed because I am not qualified enough. No one wanted to hang out with me as I was the worst ballet student. Despite all of this shit – offences, conflicts and river of tears, in 5 years I had become the best student in class. I worked very hard and in a couple of years I became a prima ballet dancer. But there was a lot of constant discussions about how I got to that point of my career, but thankfully I learnt how to ignore disgusting gossip and be stronger than these shallow people. I am pretty sure that I would be a different person without this survival school. After all challenges and trials I have been going through I realise that there is nothing that can break me through.

It was incredibly hard to be a ballet dancer. We were under the weight control all the time and couldn’t eat as much as wanted. I could eat only one time per day around midnight. As for the income it’s relatively small compared to all hard work that we do. As for the rest, it’s true. We travelled a lot, went across the USA, Europe, China and South Africa for 5 years. Seeing the world was the best thing in my job. While the biggest setback and disappointment was getting an endless number of injuries. You are always in pain whether you stretched the muscle or something is broken or badged… This pain does not leave you 24/7. My last year in ballet was the hardest and pushed me to the limit: broken ribs, injured muscles. Being in so much pain I had to dance and perform with a fake smile on my face, taking heaps of painkillers that didn’t help. The thought that I was only 22 years old feeling a pain of an old lady that is falling apart was killing me. Then I asked myself: “Why do you do this?” That’s why when I found myself in Bali and got the job offer to work in surf-school on the beach, I realised that surfing would become my whole new mysterious world. Ocean, surfing and I. It was love at the first sight that was followed by the hit of my surfboard. What can be better? (laughs)


I have my own surf-school on Bali called Keshka – what an expected name, isn’t it (laughs)? I prefer to say that my profession is “to share my happiness with other people”, as this is what surfing is all about. I can’t name certain goals by now not because I haven’t set up any, but I prefer to achieve them first rather than talking about their achievement. Once I accomplished my goal, I would share with you.

My formula of happiness is the following: «Do what you love. Love what you do». I am definitely a happy person. In my life I have been always doing things that I wanted and enjoyed doing. And I am happy that I can live like this nowadays as well. But the greatest happiness especially for a woman is to have true love, your MAN beside you who cares and loves you, shares the whole world, joy and sadness with you, whom you trust more than to yourself. I am so happy I have one!

Happiness and feeling harmony are the most important things in your life. At least in my life. When you don’t feel harmony inside none of the external factors such as success, fame or money will not make you happy if you are not happy with yourself.

My life inspiration is my man and his love. He inspires me to continuously grow and become better and better person from day to day. Also people whom I teach surfing and their gratitude inspire me greatly. The feedback and emails I receive from unknown people who write about my life that inspired them to change, are overwhelming.

My surf-inspiration it is mighty Kelly Slater. I can watch him surfing all day long, he isn’t just a person…Kelly is the whole ocean in human entity.

Mick Fanning was the one who gave me the best advice ever. It was on Tahiti at the after-party of the surf competition he won. I was surrounded by world’s best surfers and was simply shocked that I was there. Mick told me then: “You look a bit unfocused, like you seem to be lost?” I replied: “I just can’t believe that it’s really happening. That I am here in Tahiti, Teahupoo, drinking beer with you…It’s unbelievable…” And then he said these magic words: “ Yes, you are here! So just enjoy the moment!”



The most interesting discovery that happened was when I was driving along the island to say “goodbye” or “see you later” to Tahiti. I got to my favourite place there – Plato Taravao – from which I was looking at magic Tahiti Nui – on an adorable chain of mountains covered with clouds. I whispered to myself  addressing this actually to the mountain: “Why? What did you call me here for? All my life I was dreaming to come here? Why? I don’t get it….Why am I here?  I felt a gentle touch of wind and the moutain sent me an answer through this air which I heard: “JUST TO BE HERE…”  That’s how I found out the true meaning in life.  This particular “enjoy the moment” changed my life perception forever. Since then I do my best not to just take an advantage of a day I live in, but rather try to grasp and enjoy every single moment that I have. It’s priceless.

My life motto is: “Talk less do more” and “Just to be here!”

Vika-14 Yana-Vika


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