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Solid Gold: Academy of the Holy Angels Dancers Win World Title, Olympic Medal


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Demarest NJ,  Holy Angels is now the home of the World Champions of Junior Hip-Hop!  The week of April 23, the Angels earned an Olympic gold medal at the International Cheer Union World Championships, which drew 57 teams from 30 countries to Orlando, Florida.


“We won by 3.2 points,” Coach Jenny Sweet reported. “That’s a huge margin.” She added that Team Mexico finished second, and Team Norway finished third.

The Angels, who competed as the United States National Team for Junior Hip-Hop – were the only high school team invited to represent the USA Federation at this event. Their teammates also included dancers from Weber State and The Ohio State University, who competed in the college division.


The World Champs include Co-Captains Karis Cho of Harrington Park and Juliet Gelineau of New Milford;  Kate Rifon, also of New Milford; Caelyn Lindsay of Englewood; Gianna Pasquale of Blauvelt, New York; Emma Pada, Maggie Yu, and Samantha Zeccardi of Tenafly; Mackenzie Crimmins of Mahwah; Emily Figueroa of River Vale; Ava McAdams of Emerson; Stella Chung, Emily Kho, and Quinn Reicherz of Cresskill; Auden Cho of Alpine; Madeline Lee of Demarest; Julia Struhs of Englewood Cliffs; Caroline Kartman of Edgewater; Anna Urzi of New City, New York.

“Attending the ICU World Championships was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Co-Captain Karis Cho said. “It was unlike any other competition I’ve ever attended and was truly the best time. Although I loved competing with my team and bringing home the gold, my favorite part of this whole experience was getting to meet so many dancers from all the different countries and sharing our love for our sport. I’m so insanely proud of my team for being able to bring home the gold for ourselves, our school, and our country. We’ve spent countless days and hours working to perfect this routine and make our country proud, and we did just that. This past week at the ICU World Championships was one of the greatest experiences of my life and was the perfect ending to a perfect season.”

Co-Captain Juliet Gelineau shared, “Stepping onto the Olympic stage, representing the United States, and securing gold alongside my incredible team, is a journey etched in my heart forever. It’s more than just a medal; it’s the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and unwavering belief. I am immensely grateful to Holy Angels Dance Team and Coach Jenny Sweet for shaping me into the athlete and person I am today. Their support and guidance have been invaluable, propelling us to this pinnacle of success. This journey wasn’t just about winning; it was about the bond forged through countless hours of practice, shared victories, and unwavering camaraderie. The sacrifices made, the challenges overcome – all of it has made this victory greater.

“Being a captain of varsity and leading this extraordinary team for the past year has been an honor beyond words. Together, we’ve not only achieved greatness but also created lifelong memories and friendships. To my team, thank you for believing in each other and pushing boundaries. We did it, not just for ourselves, but for the love of the sport and the unity that defines us. This gold medal is a symbol of our collective resilience and determination. Here’s to celebrating our journey, our triumphs, and the unbreakable bond that makes us a family.”

In January, the Olympic Committee granted approval for dance and cheer to be elevated from provisional to official Olympic status. While the approval came too late for the Paris Olympics, the Angels earned an Olympic medal for their performance at the world championship.

AHA’s varsity and JV teams are both reigning national champions in small varsity pom. The varsity team also placed third out of 51 teams in hip-hop. In fact, AHA’s hip-hop competitors have danced their way into the top three in the nationals for the past 11 years. Along the way, the Angels have earned five national titles, four silver medals, and two bronze medals – the longest podium run of any program in the national competition.

The varsity, JV, and middle school dance squads, also hold a total of six 2024 state titles in hip-hop and pom. Varsity earned the highest and second-highest scores of the entire state competition in hip-hop and pom, respectively.

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 school serves young women from many cultural and religious backgrounds. AHA’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


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One thought on “Solid Gold: Academy of the Holy Angels Dancers Win World Title, Olympic Medal

  1. WOW! Congratulations! What a victory! This is how young students should be, wearing the American colors, being proud, thankful of how great you can be in this country if you are determined and work hard for yourself.

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