Friday, June 22, 2012

Pageant Boot Camp Review

I can't believe it has been almost 2 months since Anna went to her Pageant Training Boot Camp. I had promised to fill you in on the journey of this pageant newbie, but I have been a little preoccupied with other issues lately and then just did a little blog-slackin'. But I definitely want to fill you in, because this has been an eye-opening experience already.

Pageant Training 101

Anna and I went to boot camp which consisted of a 1.5 hour training session for her and maybe 20-ish other girls of varying ages. There was a delightful former beauty queen conducting the training and it was actually pretty entertaining. She was of course stunning but surprisingly funny and good with the girls. We all sat in the audience while she talked about the entire pageant, what to expect, various optional categories, funding, sponsors, etc... Then she talked about each of the events the girls would be competing in, gave an overview of what the judges would be looking for and demoed how to do each event. As she covered each event the girls got to practice and she gave them feedback.

Since Anna has seen Toddlers & Tiaras, she thinks she knows how to do everything already. I am fairly certain, I paid attention for the both of us while she day-dreamed of wearing a crown of dazzling diamonds on her head waving to her adoring fans as she strutted across the stage.

The first thing covered was Pretty Feet. This is a stance similar to third position in ballet which all the ladies are supposed to stand. Feet making the shape of a T, shoulders down, back straight, head up, sucked in, arms relaxed at your side, knees locked, big smile.

Next was the formal wear competition. The girls will be escorted on stage by a gentleman of their choice (I haven't dropped that bomb on Pete yet). I wish I could remember her name, but the instructor gracefully walked in, stopped on an imaginary x, flashed an enormous smile, walked to a second imaginary x down stage, then walked in a circle always looking at the audience smiling, posed one last time, then exited the stage smiling at us the entire time. Looked simple enough.

Then came the personal introduction. She demoed a few ways to state your name, where you're from and something interesting about yourself. The girls get 30 seconds or less and she made it very clear the more you can jam pack in that 30 seconds the better, provided you can do it with confidence and a huge smile, speaking clearly into the microphone.

Lastly they covered the interview portion of the competition. The girls are to dress in an interview outfit, sit in a version of pretty feet (ankles crossed, hands on lap, shoulders back, head up, back straight, sucked in, big smile...), at a table with one judge at a time, and basically speed date through the judges. They will be asked questions about themselves, nothing about world events or to throw them off, but things like what qualities do you look for in a friend, or what is your favorite hobby. They are to answer them in the pageant way: repeat the question + answer + reason for your answer.

As Anna tried each of the activities, I realized she would need quite a bit of practice. I had very good intentions of working a little everyday. Much like summer school work, we are now one month away from the pageant and have done little to no preparation.

Unfortunately, Anna thinks she is a natural and doesn't need to practice. I am fighting the urge to be a stage mom, but seriously, if I am putting this much money into it, I want her to be happy with the results and have fun. I think she will be more relaxed and have more fun if she is prepared. Still not shooting to win here, but please, please, please let her get a little bling.

I am sort of thinking it would have been easier to just go buy her a crown.


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