IM this article to a friend!

March 25, 2005

Miss VSDB crowned at pageant

From: The News Virginian, VA - Mar 25, 2005

The News Virginian
Friday, March 25, 2005

They posed in sparkling evening gowns, modeled athletic wear and performed skits, Tae Bo and gymnastics.

And with the help of student emcees Alex Heath and Kris Morris, the audience did plenty of laughing and cheering.

Four deaf upperclassmen at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind competed in the Miss VSDB 2005 Pageant on Thursday night. Three judges looked for pose, fluency of sign language and expression.

The young women's performances were about pride and self-esteem, the judges said. They reflect how the teens perceive their role in society, said judge Donna Wait, a former teacher and assistant principal at VSDB.

"Once they know their place in deaf society, they know their place in overall society," she said.

The pageant, which happens every two years, took on a variety-show feel. The emcees kept the crowd laughing, struggling at points to fill the time between the individual competitions while the contestants changed outfits.

Heath and Morris told stories and jokes. Heath headed up several comedic skits, including bringing 10 student volunteers to the stage to create a human car.

During the more traditional part of the pageant, contestants Elizabeth Alcazar, Yesenia Anderson, Jamie Mercier and Tiffany Sivell competed in four categories, including sportswear, talent and evening wear.

During the interview portion, Heath asked each contestant if they believed sign language should be taught in all schools, and each signed yes. That would allow deaf and hearing-impaired people to better communicate with hearing people, they signed.

Alcazar won three awards for most talented, best dressed and Miss Congeniality. She was named first runner-up, and Sivell won second runner-up.

The pageant ended with Anderson wearing the 2005 crown, waving to the crowd and signing "I love you."

Anderson signed that she is excited and nervous about heading to Roanoke in June for the state competition.

After the state competitions, winners will go on to a national pageant to compete for the title of Miss Deaf America.

Anderson's decision to participate in Thursday's pageant was kind of last minute, she signed.

"I thought I would give it a try," she signed.

Copyright © 2005 The News Virginian