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Woodbury fifth grader Olivia Davis named Miss Minnesota Preteen

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Mounds Park Academy fifth grader Olivia Davis, of Woodbury, had a bad habit of coming in second at beauty pageants. 

For two years in a row she was named the first runner up in the National American Miss pageant. 

“It’s heartbreaking because they compete so hard, they work so hard,” Olivia’s mother Alice Roberts-Davis said. 

The streak is over now though.

Olivia was named Miss Minnesota Preteen during the National Miss American Coed (MAC) pageant. 

“It took everything that I had not to cry,” she said. 

“I cried,” Alice said. “To actually see her have a crown, it was very emotional.” 

The MAC pageant was held March 28 at the Sheraton Minneapolis West. 

Olivia will advance to compete in the national MAC pageant next Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World. 

“I’m excited about (going to Disney World) because I’ll finally get a tan,” she joked. 

Olivia will be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and scholarships. 

LIFE OF A PAGEANT PRETEEN

MAC Pageants is a scholarship pageant system, started in 1983, for girls and young women between the ages of 3 and 22 – princess, sweetheart, preteen, junior teen, teen and coed, which encourages and reinforces “the confidence and natural beauty that is within each girl,” according to the website. 

MAC is a “natural pageant,” which means that makeup is not allowed for contestants under the age of 13.  

Judging is divided into three primary areas: one-third for poise and appearance in evening wear, one-third for personal introduction and appearance in interview wear and one-third for self-confidence, poise and personality in personal interview. 

Contestants can also compete in additional optional contests. Olivia took first in speech and placed in talent, modeling, academic achievement and photogenic. 

Olivia first started with pageants four years ago after one of her dance teachers at Woodbury Dance Center, Mary Swenson, approached her about the opportunity. 

Swenson was named the 2011 Miss Minnesota International. 

“She’s probably the main reason I started pageants,” Olivia said. 

Swenson is currently serving as Olivia’s pageant coach. 

During Olivia’s pageant last month a total of four states were competing for their respective MAC titles. 

“It was a really hectic weekend,” she said. 

Olivia said she had a lot of fun at the pageant, specifically in the personal interview. 

“Interview is probably my favorite because I like to talk to people,” she said. 

During her interview Olivia said she talked a lot about her charity organization, My Sole Sister, which donates shoes to orphans in Ukraine. 

“Not everyone has shoes,” she said, “and here’s me sitting with my bucket full of shoes in my closet. 

“I want to keep it going for as long as I can.” 

During the evening gown portion, however, Olivia almost suffered a misstep. 

“I did the pivot wrong, so I almost twisted my ankle,” she said. “Even if you make one little mistake, you go crazy because you think that one thing will keep you from winning. 

“In the end though, it doesn’t matter what color your dress is, whether it’s short or long or small or big – what matters is the girl who’s in it.”

Olivia said her experiences with pageants have really helped her grow as a person and in confidence. 

“No matter what the judges think, always believe in yourself,” she said. “Nobody can tell you who you can be and nobody can tell you who you are.” 

Olivia said she’s excited to compete at the national pageant. 

“It doesn’t matter if you leave with a crown or sash or if you leave with nothing,” she said, “as long as you had fun you accomplished the mission.” 

In the meantime though, Olivia in her role as Miss Minnesota Preteen will make a variety of appearances around the state in addition to participating in different events and activities.

 “I hope I inspire people,” she said. “ I hope when I leave that I’ve inspired many people and helped them believe in themselves and understand that no matter what anyone says, you are always the best you can be.” 

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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