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August 16, 2021

Dance Camp Jump-starts the Season for Holy Angels Teams

This summer, dancers from the Academy of the Holy Angels jump-started their season by participating in the Universal Dance Association Camp in Pennsylvania. This was the first event for the brand new AHA Middle School Dance Team, who attended with the varsity team, winners of five national championships; and the JV team, which earned its first national title this year. 


AHA Head Dance Coach Jenny Sweet noted that each dancer learned two evaluation routines and took four master classes from professionals in the dance industry. In addition, participants took part in team-building classes and activities.

“All three teams received a perfect evaluation score, qualifying them all for the National Dance Team Championship in Orlando,” Sweet reported. “We came home with three ‘Superior’ trophies and the 110% Award for leadership.”
During the camp, AHA seniors Ella Cho of Alpine, Hannah Kim of Cresskill, Arwen Parmelee of Upper Saddle River, and Lydia Schmidhauser of Pomona, New York, successfully auditioned for the exclusive “All-American Dancer Award.” This achievement includes an invitation to participate in this December’s Varsity Spirit Dance Event in Honolulu, HI.
Senior Hannah Kim was also one of just four dancers at UDA Camp who received the Pin-It-Forward Award for her outstanding performance in all of her classes. Each day the camp is held, one dancer receives this award from the staff of UDA instructors. Recipients are recognized for their work ethic, energy during classes, talent, and coachability. 
“It is exciting and incredibly humbling to see how our Holy Angels Dance Team has grown over the years,” Sweet observed. “UDA Camp was such a huge success and I am looking forward to what this Angel Army accomplishes over the 21-22 season.”
In August, AHA hosted the first in-person College Dance Team Combine for 2021. Virtual recruitment programs have been the norm throughout the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The combine, which allows top-flight dancers to showcase their talents, was run by the UDA. Representatives from Villanova, Rutgers, Cornell, University of Delaware, and St. John’s University were in attendance.
“We welcomed 125 high school dancers from all over the East Coast to network and be seen by some of the most sought after college dance team coaches,” Sweet explained. “The College Dance Team Combine is an opportunity for high school dancers to prepare to dance at the collegiate level. Athletes learn dance combinations and receive personalized feedback as well as invitations to join a program’s recruitment list.”


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 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.