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April 23, 2024

Dancing for Olympic Gold!

An Olympic medal could be the next achievement for the Academy of the Holy Angels Dance Team. This week, the team – better known as the United States National Team for Junior Hip-Hop – is competing at the International Cheer Union World Championship in Orlando, Florida.


The Angels are the only high school team chosen to represent the USA Federation at this event. Their teammates also include dancers from Weber State and The Ohio State University.


CBS News and The Scout Guide – Bergen County were on hand to interview AHA Head Coach Jenny Sweet and Team Co-Captain Juliet Gelineau at the Academy’s April 22 send-off. The AHA community, including several dance parents, administration, faculty, and staff, waved American flags and cheered as the Angels filed out of the main entrance in their official USA gear and performed an abbreviated version of their intense hip-hop routine.

Nineteen members of the AHA Dance Team are now competing for an Olympic medal as the US National Team for Junior Hip-Hop.

Coach Sweet’s 19 competitors include Co-Captain Karis Cho of Harrington Park; Juliet Gelineau and Kate Rifon of New Milford; Caelyn Lindsay of Englewood; Gianna Pasquale of Blauvelt, New York; Emma Pada, Maggie Yu, and Samantha Zeccardi of Tenafly; Mackenzie Crimmins of Mahwah; Emily Figueroa of River Vale; Ava McAdams of Emerson; Stella Chung, Emily Kho, and Quinn Reicherz of Cresskill; Auden Cho of Alpine; Madeline Lee of Demarest; Julia Struhs of Englewood Cliffs; Caroline Kartman of Edgewater; Anna Urzi of New City, New York.


The international competition, which began April 23, features a USA Showcase, a cultural exchange, and plenty of athleticism and artistry.

Co-Captain Juliet Gelineau being interviewed for CBS News.


Sweet explained that the Olympic Committee recently granted approval for dance and cheer to be elevated from provisional to official Olympic status. While the approval came in January, too late for the Paris Olympics, the Angels will be dancing for an Olympic medal at the world championship. Sweet noted that this is the first time AHA has been invited to this prestigious event.


AHA’s varsity and JV teams are both reigning national champions in small varsity pom. The varsity team also placed third out of 51 teams in hip-hop.

Part of the crowd at the April 22 send off.


“We have been in the top three in the nationals for the past 11 years in the hip-hop division, earning five national championships, four silver medals, and two bronze medals. This is the longest podium run of any program in the competition,” Sweet noted.


The varsity, JV, and middle school dance squads, also hold a total of six 2024 state titles in hip-hop and pom. Varsity earned the highest and second-highest scores of the entire state competition in hip-hop and pom, respectively.