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Academy of the Holy Angels’ Dancers Make Clean Sweep in State Competition

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Demarest, NJ: The Academy of the Holy Angels’ dance teams are taking on their own version of spring cleaning: They just completed a sweep of first place awards in state competition. AHA earned state titles in varsity prom and hip-hop and JV prom and hip-hop.

AHA Varsity Dance Coach Jenny Sweet explained that this year’s virtual state competition was organized by the New Jersey Cheer and Dance Coaches Association. The NJCDCA allowed teams to participate by submitting videos of themselves performing their routines.

“NJCDCA took all competitors’ videos and produced an online show that included performances and virtual awards,” she added. “We thank the NJCDCA for pivoting and modifying the competition to an online platform so our dancers had an opportunity to compete.”

COVID-19 safety regulations have made in-person competitions extremely rare. 

Sweet and JV Coaches Kristen DePeri (AHA ’09) and Alyssa Aponte (AHA’12) raised their dancers’ energy levels by adding crowd noise to their music tracks. The Angels’ winning routines were videotaped in AHA’s gymnasium.

This year’s varsity team includes Carmela Alessio of Belleville, Natasha Vafiadis of Englewood, Olivia Martinez of Paramus, Giselle Martin and Katie Fragola of Bergenfield, Valeria Pernicone of New Milford, Bridget Ryan and Noelle Wacker of Emerson, Tamara Kim of Demarest, Ella Cho of Alpine, Hannah Kim of Cresskill, and Arwen Parmelee of Upper Saddle River.

JV dancers include Kaitlin Grifonetti of Old Tappan; Ani Gueyikian and Kate Gorohovsky of Fort Lee; Lydia Schmidhauser of Pomona, New York; Jordyn Wynn and Caelyn Lindsay of Englewood; Isabella McMahon of West Orange; Maggie Yu of Tenafly; Maggie Danahy of Oradell; Juliet Gelineau of New Milford; Alexandra Nicholas of Emerson; and Olivia Leys of Tappan, New York.

The Angels will now continue on to the national dance competition which is set for later this month.

AHA’s varsity dancers earned four consecutive national titles in small varsity hip-hop (2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019). The team was able to compete in early 2020, before pandemic restrictions were enacted, and narrowly missed bringing home a fifth title.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.


201.768.7822 HOLYANGELS.ORG

One thought on “Academy of the Holy Angels’ Dancers Make Clean Sweep in State Competition

  1. AHA is crushing it lately.

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