Olivia Dunseith was looking for a way to improve her self confidence, and when she walked off a stage in Surrey earlier this month as Miss Teen Vancouver Island, it was clear she had found it.
“I couldn’t really believe it at first, I was a little bit in shock and I was so excited,” said the 16-year-old Lambrick Park student.
Dunseith was among the dozens of contestants to take part in the Miss BC Pageant that crowned a Miss BC, Miss Teen BC and Mrs. BC over the Canada Day weekend. It was the first pageant Dunseith has ever taken part in.
“I read about the values and workshops and I wanted to improve my public speaking and self confidence and I thought this would be a really good way to do it. And it was.”
The competition allowed Dunseith to take part in numerous workshops on public speaking, which helped to calm her nerves but didn’t get rid of all the butterflies once she got up on stage.
“It was [nerve wracking] but we had done so much practice I wasn’t as nervous on the final time,” said Dunseith, who plans to eventually go on to law school.
She didn’t hesitate when asked what was the toughest part of preparing for the competition.
“I had to learn to walk in heels,” she said, adding her main objective was not to fall on stage. “I was just trying to remember to smile in front of everyone, and I didn’t want to trip. That was my biggest thing.”
She succeeded on both counts, and said the pageant was a great experience.
“I’ve definitely gained a lot more self confidence and I’m not afraid to speak in front of people now. And I’ve made so many great friends,” said Dunseith, who doesn’t think of Miss BC as a beauty pageant. “It was like a self-development pageant.