BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Abigail Angona spent a portion of her holiday break dancing in Italy.
Angona, a Clarkston High School sophomore and member of the Clarkston Varsity Pom Pom team, received an opportunity of a lifetime to dance in Rome’s New Year’s Day parade with 400 others from the United States.
“It was so amazing,” she said. “They don’t have dancers and cheerleaders there. They said every year when it comes, people get so excited. There are very small streets so most of the time they are jam packed. There were so many people taking photos and videos, and cameras flashing. It was so amazing because you felt like a celebrity. We got to high five the little kids.”
Angona arrived on Dec. 26 with her sister and parents, as they made it into a family trip and dance trip.
“They (Universal Dance Association) had so many tours arranged and a whole schedule,” she said. “They gave us about five hours each day to go out on our own with friends and family to see Italy, shop and do tours. The food was so good. Almost 25 percent of the trip was about dancing because they also wanted it to just be a trip for us.”
She added all of Rome was beautiful, but if she had to choose one favorite sight, it would be the Colosseum.
“I got this pretty photo of it at night time,” Angona smiled. “It has the moon right over it and it’s just shining. It’s so pretty. It’s so big. It’s the one thing everybody knows about Rome, once you see it, it’s crazy to see.”
Angona received the routine a month prior in an email with two videos. One was a learning video and the other was a practice video.
“Then, throughout the whole trip we have one practice,” she explained. “They have varsity blue and varsity white so all the girls are separated into two groups because there are so many. I was on varsity white so my practice was from 9 -11 p.m. It was the only practice we had, and it was the day before the parade.”
Last summer, she and her Clarkston teammates participated in a three-day dance camp at Oakland University, through Universal Dance Association.
“Our coach chooses a few people to try out for All-American,” Angona said, adding 100-200 dancers try out and some of her teammates were also chosen for Rome. “Some people choose not to go because it’s expensive. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. My family took the opportunity because my parents went five years ago and they loved Rome. It was amazing.”
When on the JV team as a freshman, she was chosen as All-American and danced in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade. Angona has been dancing since she was 4-years-old. She participated in both cheer and dance for a couple of years. Then, she went into put me in check. Our seniors are great, too. They keep our heads in a good spot.”
Angona added right now she is enjoying dancing and is ready for what comes her way in the future.
“If something comes my way then I will take it on because I have so much experience in dance,” she said. “I am following the road and seeing what comes my way.”
Competitions for the team begin at the end of this month. They perform during half time at the Clarkston Boys Varsity Basketball home games.