February 2019
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Varsity Dancers Earn Fourth National Championship

Demarest, NJ: The varsity dancers from the Academy of the Holy Angels continue to dominate the world of small varsity hip hop, having just earned their fourth national title. The girls handily won the trophy after their heart-stopping performance at the UDA National Dance Championship.

The Angels entered this year’s event in Orlando, Florida, on solid footing. In addition to their three consecutive national crowns from 2016, 2017, and 2018, the varsity team began 2019 by earning multiple first place finishes in local and regional events. Varsity swept the first place trophies for pom and hip hop at the competition hosted by Paramus Catholic, and finished as Grand Champions, earning the highest score of the day.

In the Battle of the Northeast, a large regional event that draws competitors from Massachusetts to Virginia and as far west as Pittsburgh, AHA’s varsity team won first place awards for pom, hip hop, and “Game Day.” They also came home with the Best Choreography Award for their hip hop routine and the Crowd Appeal Award for their pom routine.

Coach Jenny Sweet’s varsity dancers include Kaitlyn Lack of Oradell, Natalie Quinn of Dumont, Sahar Ali-Jenkins Teaneck, Madelyn Menapace of Hawthorne, Melina Tidwell Torres of North Arlington, Sophia Costa of Oradell, Ciara Wacker of Emerson, Natasha Vafiadis of Englewood, Bridget Ryan of Emerson, Alana Pomponio of Nutley, Valeria Pernicone of New Milford, Giselle Martin of Bergenfield, Carmela Alessio of Belleville, and Olivia Martinez of Paramus.

AHA Junior Varsity Dance Team, coached by AHA Dance Team alumnae Kristen DePeri (2009) and Alyssa Aponte (2012), earned a second place finish in hip hop in Orlando. The JV team also earned multiple first place trophies heading into the national event. The girls earned first place finishes in pom and hip hop at the Paramus Catholic competition, and finished first in pom, hip hop, and “Game Day” in the Battle of the Northeast.

The JV dancers include Julia Creange of Wyckoff, Emily Yang of Old Tappan, Daniella Macri of Fort Lee, Analily Bozanian of Leonia, Kristen Chung of Wyckoff, Daniella Hernandez of Northvale, Kaitlyn Grifonetti of Old Tappan, Tamara Kim of Demarest, Ani Gueyikian of Fort Lee, Lydia Schmidhauser of Pomona (NY), Nicolette Otero of Cliffside Park, Ella Cho of Old Tappan, Hannah Kim of Cresskill, and Arwen Parmelee of Upper Saddle River.

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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