Claire Genty was both excited and terrified when she found out she was a finalist for the National American Miss Oklahoma Pageant.
The 14-year-old will compete in her first pageant for the title of Miss Junior Teen July 14 and 15 in Wichita, Kansas.
“(I was terrified because) I had to find a $500 dress,” Genty said. “It’s actually one I’ve always dreamed of. It’s almost this Victorian style, royal blue dress. It’s the perfect everything for me.”
Genty, who lives in Tecumseh, said she was nominated by one of her teachers to compete in the competition and she’s still trying to figure out which teacher it was.
“It means that I’ve done something in someone’s life that makes them smile,” Genty said. “That’s one of the reasons I compete.”
According to the National American Miss website, the goal of the pageant is to grow confidence and teach real world skills, and is based on “fostering positive self-image by enhancing natural beauty within.”
For the junior teen contest, Genty will have to compete in formal wear, personal introduction, an interview and resume presentation. Genty said she will also be able to show off her talents and will perform an Irish step dance and give a speech as a spokesmodel.
Genty said the pageant will most-likely be a one-time thing for her, but will continue to compete in dance contests. She said she hopes to pursue a career in dance.
“My goal is to have a dance school and teach kids,” Genty said.
The winner of the pageant will receive a $1,000 cash award, the official crown and banner, a bouquet of roses and air transportation to compete in the National Pageant in California where she will receive a tour of Hollywood and a VIP ticket to Disneyland.