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Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu



High School Student from Cary to Compete in Finals in New York


WINSTON-SALEM – Three students in the School of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) won awards at the Chicago semi-finals of the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) this past weekend.

High school senior Darion Flores of Cary won the Gold Medal in the Classical and Contemporary categories, and high school senior Hannah Davis of Chapel Hill won the Silver Medal in the Classical category. Both also won the Silver Medal in the Ensemble category, for their classical pas de deux from Le Corsaire.

A third student, high school junior Anha Lipchik of Shorewood, Wisc., was ranked in the Top 12 in the Classical and Contemporary categories.

For his Gold Medal, Flores will compete in the YAGP New York Finals, which will be held April 3-8, with the Final Round on April 9 and 10.

The students were coached by Misha Tchoupakov, who joined the UNCSA School of Dance faculty in August 2013. He also accompanied them to Chicago.

From left to right: Ahna Lipchik, Dance faculty member Misha Tchoupakov, Darion Flores and  Hannah Davis


“We are excited that our students made such an impression at the YAGP regionals,” said Susan Jaffe, Dean of the UNCSA School of Dance. “Their awards demonstrate the exceptional work of our incredible faculty, who teach them every day. I am especially grateful to Misha Tchoupakov, who prepared our students for this competition.”

Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) is the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition. It is held annually around the world and in New York City, and is open to dance students of all nationalities 9-19 years old. Launched in 1999 by two former dancers of the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet, Larissa and Gennadi Saveliev, YAGP is also a nonprofit organization created with a mission to provide extraordinary educational and professional opportunities to young dancers, acting as a stepping stone to a professional dance career. Now in its 15th Season, YAGP has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to the leading dance schools worldwide.


As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.