SDA: Road Trip USA

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Rachel Hershbein , Specialty Editor

This year, Wayne Valley’s Student Dance Association celebrated its 69th year with the theme of Road Trip USA. The dancers, captains, and board were incredibly committed this season, flawlessly adapting to the COVID-19 regulations set in place. Dances were restricted to 4 minutes and 25 girls per dance rather than the usual 8 minutes staffed by 50 dancers. President Jeana Fermi worked closely with advisors and the board to ensure the season ran as smoothly as possible. “It was definitely a hard season with restrictions and quarantines, but every girl was always 100% dedicated, and that paid off in the end. I’m really proud of what we all were able to accomplish,” she said, about the perseverance of all the dancers involved. 

 

White Overall Emily Krassowski worked with her captains to create four incredible dances, listed as follows:

  • White Aerobics: Claudia Grezeck and Haley Macmullen 
  • White Pom: Darla Zisa and Jessica Fedo
  • White Tap: Aparna Jayanth and Natalie Ritacco 
  • White Jazz: Chloe Menzel and Ariana Gencarelli

Emily said, “With it being a very different season, the girls exceeded my expectations completely. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to call my team. I will forever cherish the memories I made with them, and I couldn’t be more proud.” Emily and the white team worked extremely hard to keep each other motivated, and were successful in securing awards for Best Captain Solo (White Tap), Best Poster (White Aerobics, made by Astrid McGraw), and tied with blue for Best Prop (White Jazz).

 

Speaking of the Blue team, Overall, Chloe Ray could not be more proud of her girls, who took the win this year, winning the overall trophy and the first, second, and third place dances. The blue team’s dances include:

  • FIRST PLACE WINNER; Blue Aerobics: Maya Gallo and Brook Engler
  • SECOND PLACE WINNER; Blue Pom: Liyana Munoz and Alexa Maher
  • THIRD PLACE WINNER; Blue Tap: Julia LaSala and Olivia Westervelt
  • Blue Jazz: Victoria Paylo and Delila Aktan

Chloe, on winning, exclaimed that “I am so proud to be the overall for a team of wonderful, dedicated, and hardworking girls. Each one of them has such a special place in my heart. I’m so happy with the progress that each girl made this season. It couldn’t have ended any sweeter.” The Blue team, on top of their victory this year, won Best Music (Blue Aerobics), Best Costume (Blue Jazz), and tied with white for Best Prop (Blue Jazz). 

 

Another important set of awards in SDA are the Most Dedicated awards, with one dance and one dancer from each team being awarded this honor. This year, White Aerobics and Blue Jazz won the most dedicated dances. The two most dedicated dancers were White Team’s Nicole Giardino (Senior) and Blue Team’s Madison Grant (Junior). 

 

In the end, the show was live-streamed on Youtube, with only parents of dancers being allowed in to watch the show on Saturday night, 5/1. Each of the dances is still accessible on Youtube, featured on Wayne Valley Television’s channel. No one could be more proud of the season than Mrs. Quintino, the head advisor for the program: “Despite all the challenges we had to face this year, SDA had an amazing season!  I could not be happier and prouder of what the students accomplished.  They handled every obstacle that was handed to them and continued to create beautiful numbers. This organization as a whole is an amazing program, and I cannot wait to see what the future brings!” Though the 2021 road trip came to a close, the next season is already in the works, under the incoming President, Rachel Herschbein. If anyone has an interest in becoming a captain, joining the board, or simply becoming part of the program, don’t hesitate! It is a wonderful opportunity, unlike anything you’ve ever tried before!