Ilona McHugh grew up in Southern California, spending her summers at national ballet training institutions. After dancing with Marin Dance Theatre, she joined American Ballet Theatre in 1997. While dancing with ABT she continued to receive coaching from Charla Genn, David Howard, and Susan Jaffe. Some of her memorable roles with ABT include Big Swans in Swan Lake and Olga in Kenneth MacMillan’s Anastasia, dancing alongside Viviana Durante and Alessandra Ferri. McHugh worked with Paul Taylor and Mark Morris as a member of the original casts of Black Tuesday and Gong. Following her retirement from the stage, she was artistic director of Berkeley Ballet Theater (BBT). McHugh is a certified teacher with the ABT National Training Curriculum.