Shelley-Ann Simmonds - Miss Wales 2017 finalist - March 2017

22 March 2017
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22 March 2017, Comments 0

Where do I begin?

Well, I never thought I would have the courage to enter into a pageant. Ever since I was a young girl, my mind has been fixated on dance. However, over the past year I have challenged myself to get involved in new adventures, and so here I am… a Miss Wales finalist.

Entering the Miss Wales competition has been one of the most fulfilling achievements to date, I have met so many kind people throughout my journey in the competition and I can’t express enough how grateful I am of their support.

So far throughout my pageant journey, I have been to visit my old primary school to speak to the pupils about their hopes, dreams and ambitions for their future. They were incredibly welcoming and asked plenty of questions about my dreams as a child. My response to them was “As a young girl I dreamt that one day I would own my own successful dance school” I then continued to explain to them that with hard work and determination I am now living that dream.

I have recently been able to host a charity bingo “Fab Feb Fundraiser” which raised £500.31 for Beauty With A Purpose. I was lucky enough to have the assistance of a few volunteer students from my dance school to help with the stalls/raffles at the bingo event.

In addition to the school visits and fundraising, I have also been to visit a canine shelter to donate valuable items, such as toys/blankets/etc, which they were extremely grateful of.

One of the most rewarding activities I have been involved in recently is volunteering at two local primary schools, sharing my talent and abilities to choreograph dance routines for the pupils to compete with at the Urdd Eisteddfod. I have been lucky enough to work with such amazing pupils who have improved not only in their dance skills but their self-esteem and confidence too. The night of the competition was very emotional and overwhelming for myself and the pupils as they were given five 1st places, three 2nd places and are now through to the Urdd Eisteddfod finals, which means – not only am I representing Powys, they are too.

At present, I am organising to take a few of my dance school students to a local care home to perform for the residence. I am truly lucky to have students who care for our community as much as I do.

Living in a small town in Powys, Mid Wales, large events are few and far between, and so being able to attend a pageant training day hosted by Paula Abbandonato and Sara Manchipp was an amazing experience. The whole day was a huge learning curve. I learnt so much and my personal skills improved throughout the day. I feel the workshop really helped me to find my true self. Aside from the workshop, I also had the privilege of spending time with the other finalists and I am thrilled to be spending finals weekend with them.

The finals are quickly approaching and I am filled with nerves and excitement. I would like to express my gratitude to the pageant director, Paula, as she has kindly shared with us her knowledge and experience and has given us full encouragement throughout.

The Miss Wales competition is an amazing opportunity for anyone who aspires to be better than they were yesterday, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

“It’s not just about winning the crown, it’s about finding your true -self, and being true to who you are.”

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