Monday, April 26, 2010

Miss New York Workshop

I had orientation workshop for Miss New York this weekend--ah butterflies!! We turned in paperwork, performed our talents, learned a bit of our opening number with choreographer Kent Parham, and even did a swimsuit preview. It was so great to meet all of the contestants since there were a few I hadn't met yet, but also to spend a bit more time with the girls I knew.

Elisabeth Baldanza, Miss New York 2007, was one of our talent critics and I was really looking forward to what she had to say as she is a talented dancer herself and has experienced the blend of lyrical dance with pageantry-it can be a tricky one. She had great talent advice but her real impact was later in the day. She shared a bit about her year as Miss New York, the challenges she faced with expectation vs reality and giving vs receiving. She used an incredible analogy that I'd like to share (hopefully without butchering)

The Sea of Galilee breeds life. It is beautiful, sustaining, providing, and allows life to flourish. Out of the Sea of Galilee flows the Jordan River, which then flows into the Dead Sea. No life can live or sustain itself in or around the Dead Sea. With a single river connecting the two, how can the seas be so different? One has the Jordan flowing OUT of it, and one has the Jordan River flowing INTO it. When you concentrate on energy, compassion, and goodwill flowing OUT of yourself towards others, you will be alive. If you only sit and wait for those things and opportunities to flow into you, you will be dead. Another note: the Dead Sea is beautiful to look at. Whoop-di-do. Who cares anymore? Beauty doesn't sustain life.

Thank you, Elisabeth, for sharing that story.

Last stop: contestant numbers! I am really happy with my placement: #15 of 20 contestants. And then we were off--a delusional drive home with the NYC Pageant crew and Miss Brooklyn Mallory Hagan, her director Amaris and Teen Joelle.

Thanks to Rene for a great weekend full of presents, encouragement, lame jokes and thoughtful direction. Casey for driving! Cassie and Keelie for a great trip together and fantastic photo ops. Paul, Kenny, Linda, Faith and Kent for an impeccably organized day. Alyse and Elisabeth for sharing you advice and experiences. And congrats to our new and excited executive director, Mr. Kenny Mack! It's going to be a great year!

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