Dancing her way to the top

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 12, 2008

Although Marengo County Junior Miss title-holder Catie Cole is a bona fide pageant winner, she said she doesn&8217;t really consider herself a &8220;pageant person.&8221;

The senior at Demopolis High School, who plans to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the fall to pursue both theater and science, said she feels more comfortable in a pair of ballet shoes than in heels.

Cole has been dancing since she was very young, and it was her talent as dancer along with her poise and interview skills that earned her crown as Marengo County&8217;s Junior Miss in November.

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Next week, Cole will join 50 other candidates to compete for title of Alabama&8217;s Junior Miss in Montgomery. Before heading to Montgomery Friday, Cole spent one more crucial week rehearsing her talent in the Demopolis Civic Center, where we had a chance to talk about her upcoming pageant.

Cole said she had never done a pageant before competing in November.

When asked if she thinks her lack of experience in the pageant world could be a factor in her performance at the state level, Cole said she wasn&8217;t worried.

One of her biggest challenges in preparation for the pageant, she said, was her wardrobe makeover, which her mom, Becky, helped to initiate.

Over the last several weeks, the pair have been cleaning up Cole&8217;s casual wardrobe and replacing it with pageant-ready attire, being careful not to leave out Cole&8217;s unique personality.

But there is something more about this experience Cole hopes to benefit from as well.

The America&8217;s Junior Miss program, which started in 1957, is the oldest and largest scholarship program for high school senior girls. This, and the program&8217;s unique emphasis encouraged Cole to participate, she said.

It&8217;s keeping girls on track to being themselves and not worrying about the appearance thing and focusing on their intelligence and their well-roundedness. I just think that is much better. I would recommend this before any other pageant.&8221;

For her talent, Cole will perform a modern dance choreographed by her and her mother to the tune of Queen&8217;s &8220;Special Kind of Love.&8221;

In addition to the talent portion of the pageant, Cole will be given 20 seconds on stage to talk about something important to her. She said she plans to talk about the Uganda crisis, which is something she learned about while at church camp over the summer.

After watching the documentary &8220;Invisible Children,&8221; Cole said she was impacted by the way people reached out to help.

As far as her life after the pageant, Cole said she already has a plan in place. She is certain she wants to pursue theater. As far as her other choice of major, she said, &8220;That part I&8217;m not so sure about.&8221;

Science is just something I&8217;ve never had a problem with in school and I&8217;ve enjoyed it.&8221;

She said she is interested in everything from physics to forensic science.

Cole will compete on Jan. 18-19 for the title of Alabama&8217;s Junior Miss.

Kelli Wright is the staff writer for The Demopolis Times. She can be reached at kelli.wright@demopolistimes.com.