The Love of Pageantry
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2010 PAGEANT WINNERSMiss Victoria: Avery Greene
Junior Miss Victoria: Hunter Slusher
Young Miss Victoria: Zoie Lowery
Little Miss Victoria: Kennedy Dudley
Light-up shoes and hair in up-dos, 5-year-olds sassy walked past 18-year-olds with one goal in mind - being crowned in Saturday's Miss Victoria Pageant.
The stage is diverse, but the effort is not.
Alina Magallan knows; she's 20 and wants it just as bad as her younger counterparts.
A sigh of nervous, yet excited tension escapes Magallan's breath as the four other girls in her category arrive to the dressing room a the Leo J. Welder Center.
"I think they work just as hard and practice just as much, probably even more," said Magallan of both her competition and the younger contestants.
The pageant is divided into four age groups: Miss Victoria, 16 to 20; Junior Miss Victoria, 12 to 15; Young Miss Victoria, 8 to 11 and Little Miss Victoria, 4 to 7.
Magallan is studying business administration at Victoria College but plans to transfer to the University of Houston for public relations and advertising.
She's been practicing her speech everywhere she goes, including this Advocate interview, she said.
"Having the title, the community could look up to me and I could change things more with being Miss Victoria," she said.
Even if she doesn't win, the public speaking skills she has learned throughout the preparation for the pageant is something she can use in the future, she said.
If she does win, her experience with her father's brain injury is something she wants to use as her platform, she said.
Helping rehabilitate people with brain and spinal injuries through dance and exercise would be her reign's mission.
"Sit and be fit," she said.
LITTLE MISS VICTORIA
Alyssa Hall, 7, walks onto the stage a bit nervous of what to expect.
Alyssa and her mother, Christine Bazan, have been working hard to win the Little Miss Victoria Pageant, she said.
Though young, she has a soft spot for something just as meaningful as Magallan.
She wants to visit people in nursing homes and help take care of dogs at the local pet shelter.
Still, for a 7-year-old, looking pretty and the chance to wear a is a great feeling.
"I like to walk and talk and dress up," Alyssa said shyly.
She too has been practicing her speech, from her home, to the car and to seconds before walking on stage.
Truth be told, the core of the pageant is not about the crown, contrary to what some may think, said Debbie Green, pageant coordinator.
Winning is about four girls performing a community service for Victoria, not looking glamorous with a crown on their heads.
Each girl, despite their age, is expected to act the exact same way, she said.
"Sometimes I'm more impressed with the little ones," she said.
So what sets the youngest pageant queens apart from the oldest?
"Absolutely nothing," Green said.