Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Threepeat: AHA Varsity Dancers Win Third National Title

Demarest, NJ: The unstoppable, unparalleled varsity dance team from the Academy of the Holy Angels has made history by pulling off an astounding “threepeat” as national champions in small varsity hip hop. This latest win came in early February at the UDA National Dance Team Championship in Orlando, Florida.

The up-and-coming AHA Junior Varsity Dance Team, coached by AHA Dance Team alumnae Kristen DePeri (2009) and Alyssa Aponte (2012), placed second in hip hop and fifth in pom.

“There is really no secret to our success, just continual hard work each and every practice,” Varsity Coach Jenny Sweet commented. “These dancers are everything: their drive, commitment to each other, and trust in the process creates magic, and I am incredibly proud of them.”

She added, “The varsity team was ranked first from semifinals into finals, and then we had to draw for order. I ended up picking number one, meaning we had to perform first in the field of 18 finalists. We knew we had to give the performance of a lifetime to make a lasting impression with the heavy hitters coming later in the category.”

The team delivered.

Varsity dancers include Isabella Cho of Demarest, Odette Castillo of Fair Lawn, Madelyn “Maddie” Menapace of Hawthorne, Kaitlyn Lack of Oradell, Natalie Quinn of Dumont, Sahar Ali-Jenkins of Teaneck, Melina Tidwell Torres of North Arlington, Sophia Costa of Oradell, Ciara Wacker of Emerson, Olivia Martinez of Paramus, Giselle Martin of Bergenfield, Tamara Kim of Demarest, Natasha Vafiadis of Englewood, Valeria Pernicone of New Milford, Carmela Alessio of Belleville, Bridget Ryan of Emerson, and Annalise Mender of Ho-Ho-Kus.

In addition to successfully defending their title, varsity dancers finished seventh in pom.

Members of the JV team include Julia Creange of Wyckoff, Daniella Macri of Ridgefield Park, Emily Yang of Old Tappan, Maya Aguiling of Tappan (NY), Daniella Hernandez of Northvale, Courtney Hairston of Englewood, Ani Gueyikian of Fort Lee, Analily Bozanian of Leonia, Cameryn Lindsay of Englewood, Kristin Anderson of Cresskill, Kristen Chung of Wyckoff, and Kailtyn Grifonetti of Old Tappan.

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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