By GABRIELLE SHIOZAWA
Moapa Valley Progress
Competitors gathered from across the state on Friday night to participate in a Cinderella Pageant contest at the Old Logandale School.
If you’re expecting a Cinderella pageant to be anything like the typical beauty competition, prepare to be disappointed. But also get ready to be amazed by what it has to offer instead.
Cinderella pageants are “natural” competitions. That means that heavy makeup, wigs, and extravagant costumes are out of the picture. Instead, contestants are invited to focus on bonding with the other girls and embracing themselves for who they are.
“If the girls leave here more confident than when they came in, that’s all that matters,” commented local pageant director Jacquelyn Pray.
Besides giving participants a chance to learn new skills and gain confidence, the event also served as a preliminary qualifier for an annual state pageant, which will be held this June.
Free weekly workshops, featuring classes on interview skills, modeling, hair and makeup, and more were held in advance to the pageant.
Friday’s competition began with a baby pageant. In this segment infants and toddlers, accompanied and assisted by a parent, modeled onstage and vied for the judges’ favor. Awards in the baby pageant went to infant Bethany Nicole Hastings, baby Saige Corry, and “Prince Charming” winners Kruz and Kingston Totten.
The other contestants, ranging from tots to teens, were then judged in a rigorous process including interviews, modeling, and a talent show. Talent performances included dances, musical numbers, hula-hoop demonstrations, and more.
While a panel of local judges decided on the winners, pageant entrants past and present took the stage to dance together in the “Disco Cindy,” a Cinderella tradition.
Superlatives were announced first, with a variety of categories ranging from “Best Interview” to “Prettiest Eyes.”
The overall winners were then announced. Victors included Lindsey Nevarez and Alexis McFarlane from the Miniature Misses division; Amarissa Solis and Alika Castillo from the Miss division; and Allie Bledsoe from the teen division. Tessa Totten also took the title for Talent. Brielle Williams and Ariana Rubio won in Beauty. All of these winners received trophies, tiaras, sashes, and other goodies. The awards were presented by members of the 2017 state Cinderella Pageant royalty.
“Miss” winner Amarissa Solis remarked that she loves participating in Cinderella pageants because of the opportunity it gives her to meet new people.
“It’s really fun to compete and hang out with all the girls,” said Solis, a twelve-year old in her fifth year of competition. “It’s not about winning. It’s about meeting new people, learning more manners, and learning how to be more kind and respectful.”
Talent-winner Tessa Totten commented that she likes competing in the pageant “because it makes me feel brilliant.”
Tessa’s mother, Korindi Totten, added that she loves that the Cinderella program “gives my daughter a platform to shine and feel beautiful and special.”
Cinderella pageants are not your average beauty competition; they are something much, much more.