Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Three AHA Seniors Audition for Collegiate Dance Teams

Demarest, NJ: Recruiters who seek exceptional dancers for collegiate teams have their eye on the Academy of the Holy Angels, winner of four consecutive national titles. This summer, AHA seniors Carmela Alessio of Belleville, Kaitlyn Grifonetti of Old Tappan, and Natasha Vafiadis of Englewood showcased their talents by participating in the virtual 2020 College Dance Team Combine.

“It is so humbling that the Holy Angels Dance Team has become a trusted source for recruiters, who feel confident that our program prepares dancers for collegiate teams,” said AHA Varsity Dance Coach Jenny Sweet, who led the Angels to their 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 titles in small varsity hip-hop. The team vied for a fifth title in 2020, missing first place by a 0.03-point margin.

Although this year’s combine was booked at a venue in Tennessee, COVID-19 safety concerns convinced event’s organizers to try a virtual platform. The transition was a success. The country’s top high school dancers learned hip-hop, jazz, and pom routines to highlight their abilities. Participating athletes were evaluated by staff from over 40 college dance teams, including representatives from The Ohio State, University of Tennessee, University of Minnesota, Clemson University, Rutgers University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Alabama.

During the 2018 College Dance Team Combine, Natalie Quinn was signed by The Ohio State University, and Sahar Ali-Jenkins and Kaitlyn Lack were signed by Rutgers. All three dancers are members of the AHA Class of 2019. Sophia Costa (AHA '20) was signed by The University of Mississippi Rebelettes following her appearance at the 2019 combine.

“We are hoping that our successful signing streak will continue!” Sweet added.

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.

Academy of the Holy Angels

315 Hillside Avenue Contact Us & Driving Directions

Demarest, NJ 07627

Phone: 201.768.7822

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