Victori[ous] pageantry

Junior to compete in Miss Teen Sovereign International

April 25, 2018


Photo by: Yusra Waris

Junior Victoria Zarate poses with her crown and official Miss Teen Sovereign sash. Other than pageantry and DFC, Zarate is also involved in scuba diving, soccer, dance outside of school, and many other activities.

She walks down the runway with her royal blue presentation dress, stops to pose and walks back to later join the rest of the contestants in a group dance. By the end of the weekend-long pageant, she could now declare herself as “Victoria Zarate, Miss Teen Sovereign USA.”

After taking on a proposal from her choreographer and dance teacher, Jonathan Gomez, to compete in the Miss Teen Sovereign National pageant, junior Victoria Zarate advanced to the international Miss Teen Sovereign pageant in Las Vegas.

“[Gomez] ended up being the director for this pageant show and he just texted me one day and asked me if I wanted to be in it,” Zarate said. “It seemed like a cool opportunity. I was in a pageant once when I was around 8 years old. I got 4th runner-up and it was a lot of fun, so it just started from there.”

In the weeks leading up to the pageant, Zarate had to attend classes every Sunday to learn how to walk, pose and do her hair and makeup. Zarate also had to participate in three days of dance rehearsal to learn a group routine.

“It was a struggle,” Zarate said. “Thankfully, being in [Dancing For a Cause] and my background in dance helped put me in the front row because I knew how to do it, but not all the girls caught on. In terms of walking, we had to learn [how to walk with] the evening gown, our presentation dress and our bathing suits. For the evening gown, we had to go slower and it was kind of more romanticized; the presentation dress was just kind of a regular runway walk; the bathing suit was more happy and upbeat and you could do whatever you want with it.”

Contestants, while being judged during the evening, dance, presentation and swim portion of the show, were also judged for how they interacted with the rest of the contestants outside of the pageant.

“Pageants are not all about beauty,” Zarate said. “They also need intelligent, outgoing, kind and energetic candidates who can also set an example for our young ones, encouraging them to fulfill their dreams. This is one of the reasons there are extra activities before the pageant to get to know you individually. Judges keep an eye on every single one of the participants without them knowing they’re there.”

The day before the pageant, Zarate also participated in a fashion show showcasing outfits from Mexican designer Adan Terriquez.

“The fashion show was a really cool “behind the scenes” experience on what they’re actually like,” Zarate said. “They taught us how to runway walk and let us pose how we deemed fit when we got to the end of the runway, which was somewhat stressful since I had never been taught to pose in a real fashion show before. It was also very fun and exciting wearing an actual designer’s clothing line and basically [having] paparazzi taking pictures of us.”

As Miss Teen Sovereign USA, Zarate has had the opportunity to judge at other pageants, attend press conferences and help out around the community.

“To me, representing Miss Teen Sovereign USA, I think I should be an example for anyone who wants to do it,” Zarate said. “I really wasn’t confident and I had to learn from the start, but by the end, I got the hang of it and I just want to tell everyone that anyone can do it and just wanted to be representative of the teens of America.”

Zarate said her favorite part of the pageant was bonding with the directors and the contestants from other states after rehearsal. Zarate also aims to pursue pageantry in the future.

“Whether or not I will succeed [in the international pageant], I want to keep doing it,” Zarate said. “Pageants, at least in my experience, give more confidence and help your self-esteem. Whether you win or not, just being out and carrying that throughout my life I just feel better about myself now that I have done it.”

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