Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ahna Lipchik trained at the Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy under the instruction of Mireille Favarel, Tatiana Malinkine, Karl Von Rabenau, Rolando Yanes, and more. At 16 she left home to attend the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for her last two years of high school and a year of university. Here she studied under Susan Jaffe, Susan McCullough, Jennet Zerbe, Misha Tchoupakov, Jared Redick, Laura Martin, Eva Draw, and Nina Danilova. She has performed as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen in Ethan Stiefel’s The Nutcracker, principal couple in Frederick Ashton’s Birthday Offering, lead couple in George Balanchine’s Donizetti Variations, and the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty. She has also performed in Napoli and Raymonda, as well as other special collaborations at UNCSA with the School of Dance, the School of Music, and the School of Film.
Other performances include Michael Pink’s Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Bruce Wells’ adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Thom Dancy’s Do I Move You? and Swanhilda’s Lament, and a guest performance of the Nutcracker grande pas de deux with the Buford School of Ballet in Atlanta.
During her time in school, Ahna competed at both the Youth America Grand Prix and the World Ballet Competition, earning high marks and the award for best choreography at both. She performed in the World Ballet Competition gala alongside principal dancers from around the world.
Who influenced you most to become the dancer you are today?
Great artists, whether they be dancers or otherwise, have always inspired me with their dedication, humility, passion, and ability to communicate with an audience. I strive to emulate these qualities.
What was the funniest episode(s) you’ve experienced in your career?
In a small production of the Nutcracker, the Sugar Plum Fairy was supposed to make her entrance and then have all the little 4-5 year old angels shuffle to the back of the stage so that she could dance her variation. I came onstage, danced the entrance, and then gave the signal for the little girls and boys to move back- but one little boy was too overwhelmed by the stage and lights to move, even with extra prompting, so I had no choice but to pick him up and bourree with him to the back of the stage.
Who would you most like to share the stage with (living or dead)?.
I cannot single out a dancer with whom I’d like to share the stage.. There are so many brilliant artists that bring their own unique flare to whatever it is they’re performing. From classic dancers like Margot Fonteyn or Mikhail Baryshnikov, to more current stars like Marianela Nuñez or Daniel Ulbricht, each bring something to watch and something to learn from. I’d love to experience something like that.
What goes through your mind just before you perform?
“Breathe- it’s just ballet and you love to do it, so show the audience how much you love it and make them feel it too.”
What do you like/admire most about San Diego Ballet?
This will be my first season with San Diego Ballet, and I am very excited to be a part of such a supportive, diverse company.