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Preston High School students surpise J.Lo on Katie Couric show

Bronx Times

Check out THESE Girls From the Block.

Four Preston High School students are still basking in the glow of making their dancing debut on Katie Couric’s new TV show, Katie.

It was as a surprise appearance for the original Jenny from the block, guest Jennifer Lopez, a former Preston girl herself, who grew up and lived in Castle Hill.

Seniors Gabrielle Cruz, Angela Fragale, and Amanda Socia and sophomore Quori-Tyler Bullock, appeared on the show Sept. 14, doing a dance number one of J.Lo’s songs.

Gianna Dell’Olio, director of advancement at Preston, said the show’s producers contacted the school in August to see if Preston would like to have some students come to the show as part of a tribute.

“They were trying to find brainstorm to try and find a connection between students at Preston today and Lopez,” Dell’Olio said. “Finally they came up with Jennifer’s performance in Godspell. They said she always talked about how performing in that play helped her to decide to become an artist.”

Dell’Olio said Cruz, Fragale, Socia and Bullock “stuck out to the producers as being strong dancers and having strong camera presence.”

“We didn’t tell the girls they were going to meet Jennifer. It was very, very exciting. Aside from connecting with an alumna, a very talented alumna, we got to be on national TV with Katie Couric.”

“When we got there Wednesday morning, we practiced our routine a few times, and then the producer came over to us and said the director wanted to speak with us,” said Fragale. “That’s when he told us J.Lo was going to be there and we were going to dance for her. We just lost it, we were going crazy. Not many 17-year-old girls can say they danced for J.Lo on national television.

“It was really inspiring, because basically she was me at one point. She was where I am now. Performing for her gave me a confidence boost.”

Included in the surprise was a dance the girls choreographed to a song recently released by Lopez, “Dance Again” and a visit from the singer’s most recent boyfriend and back up dancer, Casper Smart.

The girls along with their classmates, faculty and staff gathered in the school’s gym to watch show.

After the taping, Lopez tweeted @KatieShow, “Proud Preston girl!! To all the PRESTON girls!! Lots of love. Thanks for the goodies!!” along with a photo of herself in a Preston High School sweatshirt.

Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at ksanchez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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