It’s an incredible and rewarding experience.
That is what Miss Canada Petite Princess and Lacombe native Jessica Neufeld had to say about her experience competing in the 2012 Miss Canada Petite Princess Pageant.
Neufeld said competing in the pageant was a great confidence booster for her.
“It was really rewarding because even though I was confident with who I was I still had that air of shyness within me,” said Neufeld.
Neufeld first became involved in the Miss Canada Petite Pageant when she was scouted by a princess from the year before. A model since the age of 12, it was Neufeld’s exposure as a model which caught the attention of scouts.
The difference, said Neufeld, between the Miss Canada Petite Pageant and the Miss Canada Pageant that most people may be more familiar with is simple.
Miss Canada features competitors between the ages of 19 and 27 of a height of 5’7” and above, while Miss Canada Petite features competitors of the same age but a height of 5’7” and below, said Neufeld.
However, both competitions (as well as the Miss Teen Canada Pageant for ages 14-18) are held at the same time in Toronto as well.
After being scouted and entered into the pageant, Neufeld began fundraising and then traveled to Toronto for the actual competition.
She said that, at the time, she was not sure if she “had what it took” to compete in a pageant but decided to leave herself without any regrets.
“I decided I would just go give it a try.”
For the first three days of the 10 Neufeld was in Toronto, she was given a crash course in pageant protocol and etiquette.
Neufeld said she learned all the proper walks, the difference between those walks (such as a runway walk and an evening gown walk), the proper time to use each and the proper poses as well.
Neufeld also underwent confidence training. She added that her previous experience with modeling and the confidence that comes with it was invaluable to her during the pageant.
“You need that confidence,” said Neufeld. “Of course, when you are down there they teach it to you but it’s really hard to learn confidence in a matter of three days.”
During that same time, Neufeld also competed for the regional title, hoping to become Miss Alberta.
What Neufeld ended up with instead was the title of Miss Northwest Alberta. She said that all competitors are awarded titles in the pageant even if they aren’t first place winners and it is something Neufeld enjoys about the competition.
“I really like that about the pageant actually,” she said. “Everybody takes something away from it and they still get to have an amazing experience with it.”
Some parts of the competition, like learning choreography, were more difficult and lengthy than she expected, she said.
She added that many competitors dropped out of the pageant during the regional placement portion but Neufeld said she was glad she stuck it out.
After finishing regional placement, the competition began anew for the national competition of Miss Canada Petite.
Neufeld learned new choreography and learned more about the etiquette and protocol for different parts of the competition, like question and answer. She added smaller, mini-competitions were held during the pageant as well that allowed competitors to win further titles.
By the end of the pageant, Neufeld had won several crowns, she said.
She had the title of 2nd princess, Miss Runway and Miss Elegant and Miss Runway Alberta.
Now, Neufeld is returning to Toronto on July 19 of this year to prepare for another competition. After a brush-up on pageant protocol, she will then leave for the Dominican Republic to represent Canada in a global competition (the petite segment of the Miss Inter-Continental Tourism Pageant) there.