Oakies pursuing their passions

At Oakcrest, students foster their individual talents and passions outside the classroom which accompany the rigor of the curriculum and community at Oakcrest. Enjoy these highlights of Oakies pursuing their passions:
Eva M ‘26

Since the age of five, Eva has been dancing nearly every day - whether in ballet classes or at home practicing. Her dancing career began at Great Falls Classical Ballet, where she learned the basics of ballet, and in the midst of the Covid pandemic, she danced with Ave Maria Academy of Ballet. Today, she dances with the Conservatory Ballet. 

Eva dances for the love of the art, and while she is not trying to pursue it professionally, she is open to the possibilities. She has a natural grace about her dancing and has been studying the disciplines of classical ballet, pointe, variation and character dance for over six years and has now started pas-de-deux, dancing with a partner.  

With the experience she has gained, she is now starting to dance in lead roles such as The Snow Queen in The Nutcracker and her favorite, The Spanish Solo, also in The Nutcracker.  She will dance the lead part, Chipolina, in the Conservatory Ballet's spring dance this June, The Adventures of Chipolina and Friends, an adaptation of an Ukrainian folk tale. 

In April, Eva competed for the first time in the 2023 DC Grand Prix, not only making it to the finals, but also finishing in the top 12 with special recognition. Eva was thrilled to be able to use her dance experience as dance captain for the Oakcrest Middle School theatre production, Newsies, Jr., and realized how much fun it is to pass on the art and love of dance! 

Kate N ‘26

Kate recently competed at the first session of Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit in Hampton, Virginia,  starting at the small forward position. Kate is playing for the Fairfax Stars in the Nike Tournament of Champions Circuit and other elite youth basketball tournaments across the country.  

The Fairfax Stars is one of 32 Nike EYBL girls programs in the country and have many notable alumnae playing basketball at D1 colleges and the WNBA.  Kate plays up on the 2025, or 16U, Showcase Team.  On May 18, she and her team will travel to Phoenix to play in session 2 against many prominent West Coast teams before all EYBL programs meet in Chicago for the Championship final session in July.  

Kate's team finished 3-1 in Hampton losing to the eventual session champions in the semifinal round. Their record in the first two sessions will determine their seeding and division standing in Chicago.  They are well positioned to compete for the championship.  Go Kate!

Hania S ‘28

Hania Syska has been a member of the Civil Air Patrol since January 2022. She belongs to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Composite Squadron in Maryland. There she has served on staff as the Public Affairs Non-Commissioned Officer and now as the Emergency Services Non-Commissioned Officer. She currently holds the rank of Cadet Senior Master Sergeant. 

In August 2022, Hania attended the Summer Pathfinder School where she trained as a search and rescue Ground Team Member 3 and 2. While attending, she received the Outstanding Basic Student Pathfinder Award from the Maryland Wing Commandant. In February 2023, she returned to staff the winter Pathfinder School as a Logistics Support Team member.

Last summer Hania also attended Tri-Wing Encampment, where she was recognized as the Bravo Flight Honor Cadet. She will be returning to encampment this June to serve on the Public Affairs Team. 

In January 2023, Hania completed her first orientation flight on the Cessna aircraft and is looking forward to her first glider orientation flight in May.

Hania’s most recent accomplishment is her team’s advancement to the Color Guard National Cadet Competition. This was her second year competing on a Color Guard team and this year her team placed 1st at the Maryland Wing Competition and won 1st place at the Mid-Atlantic Region Competition. In mid-July she and her teammates will compete against the top teams in the nation. They will be tested on their ability to post flags both indoors and outdoors, their physical training and marching skills, teamwork skills, their ability to wear and assemble the uniform properly, and their knowledge on aerospace and leadership topics. The competition will take place at the Wright Brothers University in Ohio.

Sharon J ‘29

Sharon has been dancing since the age of three. In her own words, she describes how she loves that dancing “conveys so much without talking.”  Sharon loves how dancing combines movement, storytelling, and creativity, within a physical outlet. Ballet dance is where all of these blend, which is very life giving to her, she says. 

Sharon auditioned for and now dances at the Washington School of Ballet. From there she was invited to audition for the Kennedy Center’s production of The Sleeping Beauty with the professional company.  Sharon auditioned and was cast as a “Valor Fairy Page”. 

With performances in early May, Sharon was honored to have this experience, she said, appreciating the opportunity to learn all of the professional intricacies of a Kennedy Center production. Sharon also said that she is grateful to her Oakcrest education to help discern God’s will and empower herself with choosing her passions while solidifying her love of the Oakcrest arts.

Elise F ‘28 

Elise began learning Irish dancing in Germany at the age of four and has since advanced to the Preliminary Championship level. She is dedicated to mastering the dance, diligently practicing 10 to 12 hours each week. 

In December 2022, Elise placed second out of 50 qualifying dancers in the United States Southern Regionals Competition (which includes Mexico) called Oireachtas which took place in Orlando. Her performance dance group, which includes her two younger sisters as well, was invited and will perform at Walt Disney World this summer. 

One major goal on the horizon for Elise is to qualify to compete at the World’s Competition in Scotland in April 2024.
Therese M ‘25

Therese began dancing with classes in ballet, tap, jazz, and tumbling at the age of four. By the time she was nine, she began instruction in classical ballet at The Naples Academy of Ballet, where she learned the Vaganova Russian style and method of classical ballet. Therese quickly became a natural on the stage, performing in the classic favorite The Nutcracker each Christmas season, and performing with the Miami City Ballet professional company. 

After moving to Virginia, Therese began dancing with the local Kintz-Mejia Academy of Ballet. Her dedication to dance is expressed through her commitment to taking additional classes to master her technique and skills, often devoting 20-25 hours each week to ballet. This past winter, Therese performed in the professional ballet production of The Nutcracker with The Great Russian Ballet from Moscow. This summer she will attend a professional summer intensive with the Princeton Ballet - American Reparatory Ballet. She hopes to continue her training at Kintz-Mejia and someday join a professional company. 

Therese will be performing The Phantom of the Opera (Ballet) in early June at The Meridian High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased here.

Elliott R ‘28 

A dedicated and accomplished swimmer, Elliott Rowan ‘28 competes year-round with York Swim Club. For the past three years, she has qualified for the NCSA Age Group swim meet held in Florida. 

Her favorite events are the 100m and 200m backstroke. 

Throughout the summer, Elliott swims with Vienna Woods, a part of the Northern Virginia Swim League. In July 2022, Elliott made the new team record for 11-12 year-old girls backstroke.

    • Eva M. '26 as the Snow Queen in "The Nutcracker."

    • Kate N. '26, Fairfax Stars Basketball

    • Hania S. '28, Civil Air Patrol

    • Sharon J '29 as a fairy page in "The Sleeping Beauty" at The Kennedy Center.

    • Sharon J. '29 as a fairy page in "The Sleeping Beauty" at The Kennedy Center.

    • Elise F. '28, Irish Dancing

    • Elise F. '28 placed second in her age group at the United States Southern Regionals Competition

    • Therese M. '25, Ballet

    • Therese M. '25, Ballet

    • Elliott R. '27, Swimming