Sima Trostyanetskaya was born in 1923 in Vinnitsa Oblast.
In the early 1930s, the Trostyanetsky family moved to Leningrad, fleeing the famine that was ravaging Ukraine. Sima was sent to an orphanage, which was common practice at the time for parents who could not provide for their children. Sima Trostyanetskaya excelled at her dancing lessons, and, during a visit by a committee that sought gifted children for enrolment in higher educational institutions, she was able to so impress the committee members that they sent her to the Agrippina Vaganova School of Choreography in Leningrad. After graduating from the Department of Folk Dances and Operettas with honors, Sima was hired by the Leningrad Operetta as a ballet soloist.
On June 24, 1941, two days after the Nazi invasion of the USSR, Sima Trostyanetskaya volunteered for frontline duty. Since the minimum recruitment age was 18, and Sima was only 17 at the time, she had to falsify her age.
Sima underwent an accelerated training course, learning how to fire a gun, crawl, and give basic first aid. She was then dispatched to the front. As a member of a propaganda team, she toured various military units, often having to use open truck beds as makeshift stages for her performances. However, her duties were not limited to these performances, and her dancing would sometimes be interrupted by combat. Thus, she received her first medal for evacuating a wounded commissar from the battlefield and giving him first aid.
In December 1941, Sima was seriously wounded and shell-shocked. She spent half a year convalescing in a Leningrad hospital, experiencing all the hardships of the siege at first hand. Nevertheless, she was able to complete a nursing course, and served for a time as a physical therapist for wounded soldiers.
In late 1942, Sima was once again sent to serve in a propaganda team. There, she met and married the theater worker Andrei Raevsky.
In 1943, the Operetta Theater came under the authority of Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky. However, alongside her artistic work, Sima Raevskaya was a full-fledged military servicewoman. Thus, she once had to replace a sniper who had been killed in action, and spent a month sitting in a tree with a rifle.
During her term of service, Sima Raevskaya was awarded the Order of the Red Star and several medals.
After the end of the war, she and her husband were ordered by Rokossovsky to organize a theater in the military district of the Polish (and formerly German) city of Legnica.
In the late 1940s, after demobilization, the Raevsky family settled in Kirovograd (present-day Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine). Sima joined the ballet troupe of the local theater. The two later returned to Leningrad. However, as the "anti-Cosmopolitan" campaign was moving into high gear, the Jew Sima Raevskaya found it increasingly difficult to be allowed on stage.
In the early 1950s, at the suggestion of a wartime comrade, the Raevsky family moved to Mogilev, where they were asked to help develop the local drama theater. They had come to like this place back in 1944, when they entered the liberated Mogilev with the Belorussian Front and beheld the looted theater.
For many years, Sima Raevskaya worked as a choreographer at the Mogilev Drama Theater and taught at the ballet school.
Sima Raevskaya died in 2020 at the age of 96.