Guest Blog Post By Aby Little pageant coach and events coordinator for Emerald Isle Pageants and Miss European Team Ireland. She is qualified in Event Management and Beauty Therapy, also available for one on one or group coaching throughout Ireland.
First thing you need to do is find out as much as possible about the competition. Read the website, FB page, and all information you are given by the director. Make sure you meet the criteria and rules, i.e. age and eligibility. You also want to make sure this pageant system is suitable for you. Ask yourself!!
This will help you decide, and by reading all the information you will also find out what is expected from contestants and what they are looking for in a winner.
In the weeks leading up to the competition some pageants may like you to make appearances in your sash, out and about promoting yourself and the pageant at different events, so check your local papers for charity fundraisers, fashion shows etc. you could attend. This is done as they want to see how proactive you are and if you would be a good ambassador for their pageant system if you win. Others will ask you to raise money for a chosen charity.
Get connected with other contestants, add them on FB and introduce yourself. Its nice to be able to walk into rehearsal room and have another contestant know your name, it makes everything less scary. Most pageants will have a special FB group for all contestants to chat and ask each other questions. Its all about making new friends and connections. Miss European Team Ireland meet each other many times over the 7-8 month period before the competition, and gain experience from the many events put on for them.
Use your Facebook pages and other social media sites, let everyone know that you have entered and will be competing, advertise ticket sales, your appearances and your charity fundraiser. You might not know it but most pageant directors and judges will have added you and will be checking out your page, they want to see if you are proud of what your doing, and want to tell everyone all about your journey to the competition.
Ensure you’re the best possible version of yourself, use proper english and vocabulary when speaking to the director or coach. Your expected to be professional in every way, including when talking to others about the competition and promoting, you’d be surprised how much information gets back to the director and you want to give yourself the best opportunity to win.
Next you can work on your walk, speech or interview questions and that all important smile.
This is usually a short dress in a specific colour, for Miss European its always white, it needs to be something you can perform an opening dance routine in comfort. If the dress code states white, then your dress must be all white. In this round you don’t want to be noticed for the wrong reason! This is done so the judges can see all the contestants in uniform and it shows who stands out from the crowd and who they should watch in the next three rounds. This round not judged at Miss European but that doesn’t mean the judges aren’t paying attention! For the opening round I would recommend the following dresses from Obsession4Clothing
This is a short above the knee dress, but make sure its long enough to be decent while on stage. You want sparkles, pretty detail and a nice flowing skirt. Hi-low dresses and skirts that puff out are ideal for this round, it needs to be OTT to have effect on stage. Bright colours are great as the judges want to see your sassy, bubbly side and your personality, so pick a dress that shows everyone who you are. This is a fun, fast paced round and you should be full of energy. My favourite choice for this round would be the following:
This is a floor length elegant, gown. Perfect styles for pageants are fishtail, dresses with a train and figure hugging dresses. Stay away from dresses that hang from just under the bust, puffy ball gowns and anything too revealing. High necklines and long or capped sleeves are the latest trends on the stage but off the shoulder dresses still remain the most popular. Also coming into fashion are plain style dresses with an open and detailed back. Pageant favourite colours are nudes, champagne, white, silver, gold and red. Black and navy are coming into fashion with a bang and stand out colours like orange, yellow, green and pink can be good provided they compliment your hair and skin colour. Purples and blues sometimes don’t photograph well and can be quite dark for stage.
The key to this round is elegance, it’s a slower paced round where contestants need to glide across the floor. Never pick your dress up to walk it should just skim the floor in heels, so its best to get this custom made to ensure it fits perfect, you don’t want your off the shoulder dress falling down, or your figure hugging dress hugging nothing but the catwalk! Hair should be down, swept over to one shoulder is popular, if you have a high necked dress and you have time between rounds then at this stage hair can be worn up, but loosely, no tight debs style hair. With so many to choose from on Obsession4Clothing, try the latest trends with the two piece Emer dress and long sleeved Trixie gown.
Or stick to the classic, traditional favourites with the Bianca Mermaid Dress and Saoirse Backless Meramid Gown both custom made to any size and colour.
Pageants aren't about being bitchy or fake, they attract genuine girls who have an interest in the competition. Contestants that fill in application forms and tell me they love to do themselves up, spend hours in the hairdressers and out shopping for the latest trends, haven’t quite grasped the concept. Those things are just expected, they are part of competing but they don’t define you as a person. Judges like to see that your studying or working hard, that you have lots of hobbies and interests and that you are beautiful on the inside not just the outside.
Pageants unlike modelling competitions are focused on personality, in the lead up, on stage, off stage, during rehearsals and back stage in the changing room. Most pageants have helpers back stage and in rehearsals who will assist the judges. So make sure your well-mannered, polite and put your best possible side forward to everyone, the contestants, the pageant coach, judges, director, and show them how you will represent the title if you win. So if a girl needs help getting into her dress, if she’s lost a shoe or cant find her earrings lend a hand. Pageant girls help each other out, they support each other, they have fun together. Miss European contestants are judged for a duration of the week on their personalities,behaviour and team work.
If you win you will be an ambassador and spokesperson for the pageant system for a whole year, you are expected to promote the pageant, yourself and your title, make appearances and be helpful in every way to the director. You will also be expected to be a good role model for next years contestants and help get the director entries. Create a separate FB page and use your title to the max, make the most of it! Don’t forget you won out of all the other contestants, the judges picked you, your expected to be gracious and sincere about winning and really appreciate everything that comes from winning a title.
Miss European 2014 will be held for the first time ever in Ireland, come watch all 100 contestants take to the stage in the Grand Final on 11th October in the Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise. Don’t forget to wear your favourite Obsession4Clothing evening dress and see who takes home the much coveted Miss European crown. Tickets on sale now!