DYW of Chilton County Anna Smith heads to state competition

Published 2:22 pm Thursday, January 4, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Distinguished Young Woman of Chilton County Anna Smith will compete in the Distinguished Young Woman of Alabama scholarship contest on Jan. 19 and 20.

The local program is hosting a send-off party for Smith on Jan. 7 before she leaves for a week of preparation and activities leading up to the state competition in Montgomery at Frazer United Methodist Church.

The send-off party will be held at 113 Campbell Road in Clanton from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

On Dec. 2, Smith met with fellow contestants at the Auburn University at Montgomery.

“All the girls were there, and we learned our individual fitness routine,” Smith said.

Additional dance routines to be performed at state were given to participants electronically. Smith said learning the routines from a video has been challenging.

Smith was named the DYW of Chilton County in July 2017, and she has spent the months leading up to the state competition preparing by working on her talent presentation and exercises to be ready for the fitness portion.

Smith said she has also stayed aware of political current events because some of the state competition interview questions will likely be on this topic.

“It’s an honor to be able to go and compete for it,” Smith said. “It’s just super exciting.”

Interview is the category that Smith is looking forward to the most. For this category, each participant will individually answer questions from the judges without an audience or the other contestants present. Smith said she has been preparing the interview with the help of Walter Hayden, who works with the local program.

“I’m also excited about the talent because it’s really special to me,” Smith said.

Singing and playing the piano are Smith’s talents for the competition. She will perform “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, including a verse she added in honor of her grandfather.

She said she is nervous about the self-expression category because she will be speaking in front of a large audience.

“I’m great at talking to people, but when it comes to standing on stage and talking to a lot of people — that is the part that gets me,” Smith said.

Each DYW will receive her self-expression topic at the beginning of the week in order to prepare for the category.

The fitness portion is also challenging, Smith said.

Smith competed in the local program after her piano teacher Patsy Vines had encouraged her to participate. Her parents and friends also said she would do well in the competition.