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Pep On Point!

By Grace Aderibigbe

With a long awaited comeback, the performing groups returned to the football field this past season. Excited fans filled the socially-distanced stands and everyone had a taste of normalcy for the first time in months.

Abiding by the new rules placed on school-sanctioned gatherings, performers were allowed to bring two adult guests who had to leave immediately after the end of the performance. New regulations consisted of limiting the number of students at games, completing COVID-19 forms before entering school grounds, and enforcing mask mandates. Nevertheless, spirits remained high among the NHP crew.

“...every performing group was met with overwhelming applause and appreciation...”

“[The performing teams] really exceeded my expectations putting together such well organized routines in such a short time,” said Spanish teacher Ms. Salcedo.

Whether it was because their arrival was long awaited or because they were performing at halftime in a close game, every performing group was met with overwhelming applause and appreciation. These groups had little time to learn their routines, which made the performances even more impressive to the audience.

“It was extremely refreshing to enjoy some normalcy in these times of desperation,” said varsity boys’ volleyball coach Ms. Leydon.

Source by Lauren DiGregorio

The varsity cheerleaders guide the crowd in a cheer; junior flyers Vanessa DiNardo, Isabella Vecchio, and Rachel Xie pose in one of their challenging stunts; Senior captain Hailey Mikowski leads her fellow cheerleaders on the track; juniors Rachel Cantave and Xie pose for a photo at the football game.

NHP’s varsity cheerleaders performed first during halftime, and also throughout the game on the sidelines. The cheerleaders executed stunts and cheers in order to provide motivation for the football team.

“After so long of not cheering, being able to perform definitely made me realize how much I miss the school's spirit at football games. Even with all the restrictions, it is better that we get to slowly transition back to normalcy rather than not being able to perform at all,” said junior cheerleader Rachel Xie.

“After so long of not cheering, being able to perform definitely made me realize how much I miss the school's spirit...”

Next on the list, the NHP Romanettes energized the crowd with their signature eye-level kicks and peppy choreography. One thing some fans could not help but take notice of was a big difference in the Romanettes’ routine: they were kicking by themselves. As most people know, the Romanettes usually link arms to kick, but because these are not usual times, the team decided to distance themselves and kick as individuals.

Sources by Lauren DiGregorio

Juniors Gina Novello and Ivie Li, senior captain Kayla Mahoney, and juniors Jacey Cho and Grace Aderibigbe perform in sync; the Romanettes spread out for their signature kicks; the team forms into a circle for part of their routine.

“I felt very proud of my girls seeing them light up the field. It was a wonderful thing to see them be able to do what they love again,” said Romanettes adviser Ms. Deegan.

The NHP Twirlers danced and spun their batons to a mix of songs including fan favorites like “Yonce” and “Up.” From the looks of their detailed performance, people all around could note the thoughtful choreography the Twirlers put together.

Source by Lauren DiGregorio

The Twirlers begin their routine with a move they call “the flamingo;” senior twirlers Olivia Wong and Saanvi Mirchandani dance to the music; the team successfully pulls off their classic baton tosses.

“It is a great experience that seniors on the team can definitely appreciate,” said junior twirler Elisa George.

Last to step out on the field was NHP’s Step Team. Blowing up the field with their explosive performance, the Steppers kept up the caliber of the teams preceding them. Pleasing the audience with dances to classics like “Calabria” and “Invincible,” their performance left a powerful impression on the crowd.

Sources by Lauren DiGregorio and Olivia Wong

The Step Team incorporates dances of different cultures into their routine; senior Thalia Torio, junior Anjali Brathwaite, senior Riya Joseph execute their performance with power and style; junior Leah Chacko claps to the beat of the routine on the track; senior Julia Si leads the team on the field.

“You feel like you are alive again. My team and I felt so happy just to be able to get together again,” said junior stepper Berlyn Stanley.

Also throughout the game, NHP’s new pep band performed songs to motivate and celebrate the football team’s accomplishments. They played timely classics from a set called “Stadium Jams,” including a fan favorite “Do Whatcha Wanna” to keep a steady flow of energy and beats for the crowd. After each touchdown, the band broke out into song and kept spirits high for the players and the audience.

Source by Lauren DiGregorio

Clockwise from the left, sophomore drum major Izhaan Ahmed plays the trumpet along with his bandmates to celebrate the NHP football team's lead; sophomore Ethan Siegel reads music off of his iPad; percussionists focus on the music; junior drum major Gregory Marzano watches the field in order to conduct after a home team touchdown; senior Jack Vasquez conducts the Star Spangled Banner before the game.

“It was super fun and, even though the size of the pep band was small because of conflicts with sports and the fact it was an optional thing, we were able to form good cohesion. I felt that the vibe was something that gave me a lot of hope for our band since people showed care rather than casual apathy,” said sophomore pep band drum major and performer Izhaan Ahmed.


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