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,” AHA Varsity Dance Coach Jenny Sweet said. Sweet 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 the event’s organizers to try a virtual platform.
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 said.