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?
My teachers from Milwaukee Ballet School, UNCSA, and those I met through programs in the US and abroad have given me a larger scope of the dance world through their experience, knowledge, and generosity. They have provided tools a dancer like me can utilize to create something meaningful and beautiful to share with the world.
What was the funniest episode(s) you’ve experienced in your career?
As the Sugarplum Fairy, I was supposed to enter and gesture to a group of little 5 year old candy canes so they would move back and I could then do the variation. One of the little girls was frozen in the middle of the stage and would not budge, so I picked her up and bouréed with her to the back and set her down with her friends.
Who would you most like to share the stage with (living or dead)?
We might not be sharing the stage, but I would absolutely love to work with David Dawson or William Forsythe.
What goes through your mind just before you perform?
My mom loves to remind me- “Breathe. It’s just dancing- and you love dancing!”
What do you like/admire most about San Diego Ballet?
I’m grateful for the relationships I’ve created with the other dancers.