For 10-year-old Alex Sharp of Brookfield, competing in pageants is something that she enjoys doing. For the past two years, she and her family have taken part in the National American Miss (NAM) Junior Preteen Pageant in Columbia.
This year, in a field of 149 of her peers, Sharp placed in the top 30. “I like beauty pageants because it lets me show people my style and what I like,” said Alex. “This pageant wasn’t about beauty, its more about how you are; how shy you are, how quickly you learn.”
Showing poise beyond her age, Sharp noted the things she liked most about the pageant experience. “There were a lot of fun things about the pageant,” began Alex. “I think the most fun part was the part with my Dad, the formal part; he was my escort. You got to pick what you wanted to wear, and I got flowers at the end that I still have.”
For her father Ronnie, the stage at a beauty pageant is far away from the athletic fields and courts he experienced as a standout athlete and coach. “I think I was more nervous than she was,” said Ronnie. “I knew she would do fine. She led the way, honestly.”
Alex had to raise money to take part in this pageant, and her mother Tania noted the family’s appreciation for the support of locals and family alike. “We just want to thank all of our family and friends for supporting Alex and her pageant experience,” said Tania. “They provided her an unforgettable life experience.”
And that experience was capped off with the judging. After three days, a formal wear competition, a personal introduction, and an interview with five judges, the moment had arrived. Alex waited on stage with the other contestants and stuck through the eliminations of those around her.
“When they called my name, I burst into tears,” recalled Alex. “They said, ‘Contestant number 125, Alex Sharp, the judges have noticed you.’”
This meant that Alex had placed in the top 30. Which is better than the finish she experienced her first time at the NAM pageant. “I probably will do more pageants,” said Alex. “This was my last year being eligible in this age group.”
Taking this chance to compete has left her parents with a sense of pride. “I am very proud,” said Ronnie. “It’s amazing her ability to have the self-confidence to get up in front of her peers, parents, grandparents and judges. It’s something I wouldn’t have been able to do at her age.”