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YMCA hosts Pageant Boot Camp

The YMCA will host a Pageant Boot Camp beginning Jan. 6-7. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

The YMCA will host a Pageant Boot Camp beginning Jan. 6-7. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

The YMCA of Chilton County will host a six-week Pageant Boot Camp instructed by Julie Bentley beginning Friday Jan. 6 and Saturday Jan. 7.

Bentley has experienced first-hand the benefits gained from competing in pageants, having earned scholarship money for college.

“It paid for my first year of school all together, just being in pageants throughout the county,” Bentley said. “It opens others doors of opportunity that wouldn’t otherwise be there.”

She is a former Peach Queen, Miss Chilton County and Chilton County’s Junior Miss, which is now known as Distinguished Young Women.

“I’m focusing on upcoming spring pageants,” Bentley said.

Bentley has helped girls both place and win pageants of there own since she began offering the counseling services.

“I grew up in Chilton County and I’m just trying to help out girls that are trying to do the same thing,” Bentley said. “It gave me a lot of confidence to go on and do the other things that I’ve done in my life.”

The boot camp will last six weeks and is broken down into four groups consisting of little, young, junior and miss classifications.

The little, young and junior categories will be held on Fridays and the miss portion is scheduled for Saturdays.

The focus will be on interview skills, walking with confidence and the presence and composure that judges expect during a competition.

According to Bentley, different pageants require different approaches in preparation and expectation.

“It helps anytime you’re prepared and knowing what criteria the judges are looking for,” Bentley said.