Chloe Alford participates in the Miss Tri-State BBQ 2017 80s Wear Competition. Photo: Chloe Alford
Pageants come in all shapes and sizes. One of the oldest types of pageants is glitz. Dating back to "May Queen festivals" held in Britain in 1881, the objective was to find the "most likable and lovable" of all the entrants. The concept quickly spread to the United States where the festival developed into more systematic baby competitions that chose winners based on the entrant's looks and costumes.
While these competitions nearly ceased due to the Polio epidemic of the 1950's, the concept re-emerged in the United States in the 1960's and developed into what has become modern day glitz pageants. (Read: Types of Glitz Pageants and What's Best For You)
The objective of a glitz pageant is for contestants to enhance their natural beauty in order to create the polished appearance of doll-like perfection. This means spray sprays, rhinestones, flippers, extensions and everything in between.
However, you cannot just look perfect in order to win a glitz pageant. Part of achieving the highly glamorous beauty look of a glitz titleholder also means mastering the perfect walk. (Read: How to Walk in Every Phase of Pageant Competition)
Shoes Who does not love a good pair of heels!? Before you begin practicing your walk, you have to find the right pair of shoes! The type of shoe you wear is essential to a successful pageant walk. Three and under For contestants under three years of age, there is not going to be much unassisted walking. Keeping this in mind, a simple white flat is perfect. Molly Junior by Touch Ups Children's is soft and flexible to make the shoes easy to slip on. They also come in a variety of sizes! Price: $34 Buy them here at Chic Boutique!
Molly Junior by Touch Ups Children. Photo: Chic Boutique
For a contestant on the upper end of this age group, a flat with a small heel on the end is another great option. Some toddlers may want to walk on their own or holding their escort's hand. This type of shoe allows the look of a heel without the difficulty of walking in one. (Read: How High Should Your Heels Be for a Pageant?) Abigail by Touch Ups Children's have all these qualities. The design is simple but elegant, and they also come in a range of sizes from seven toddler to four children. Price: $50 Buy them here at Chic Boutique!
Abigail by Touch Ups Children's. Photo: Chic Boutique
Nine and under For contestants ranging from four to nine years of age, a white Mary Jane style shoe with a low, chunky heel is the standard choice. A low heel is stable enough for little ones to walk by themselves while still appearing elegant. Pair the heels with white, ruffled ankle socks to complete the look. A great pick for this age range is Jill by Touch Ups Children's. The shoe offers full coverage and a strap to ensure it stays on little feet as they run around backstage. Also, paired with a cute sock, the look is adorable and sure to complement any cupcake dress! Price: $46 Buy them here at Chic Boutique!
Jill by Touch Up Children's. Photo: Chic Boutique
Contestants on the upper end of this age range may soon want to transition into a more grown-up heel. A good heel to aide in this transition would be Kelsey by Dyeables. The heel is a more modest design of the heels contestants begin to wear in the Preteen division. However, there is still a decent heel and solid ankle strap to ensure the shoe stays secure and the contestant can walk. Price: $46 But them here at Chic Boutique!
Kelsey by Dyeables. Photo: Chic Boutique
10 to 12 Preteen is the perfect age to start experimenting with the lower versions of heels contestants will wear as teenagers. For example, Eileen by Touch Ups is a low version of many strappy heels seen in older divisions. The design ensures it stays on a contestant's foot but is still versatile enough for nearly all areas of competition! (Read: How High is Too High for Preteen Contestant Heels?) Price: $52 Buy them here at Promgirl.com!
Eileen by Touch Ups. Photo: Promgirl.com
Wedges are anther great choice for this age division. Wedge by Johnathan Kayne offers contestants a four-inch heel with a crystal strap for extra sparkle. The design is super comfortable and allows for contestants to hit the strong poses needed in areas of competition such as swimwear and interview! Price: $155.99 Buy them here at Pageant Planet Store!
Wedge by Johnathan Kayne. Photo: Pageant Planet Store
13 and up Heels really begin once a contestant transitions to the Teen division. From here, contestants are expected to don heels throughout the competition. One of the most popular pageant heels ever are Tippy Tops by Chinese Laundry. This 5.5-inch heel comes with a 1.5-inch platform to help stabilize the contestant while adding tons to height to achieve that "Barbie Doll" look. Price: $79.95 Buy them here at Pageant Planet Store!
Tippy Tops by Chinese Laundry. Photo: Pageant Planet Store
Evening gown for a glitz pageant is one of the most glamorous types of competitions. Cupcake dresses and gowns can costs thousands of dollars. These Barbie-worthy gowns are expected to be modeled with grace and elegance.
One of the most important aspects of evening gown for a glitz pageant is the feet. Often called the "Pretty Feet" or "Model T" stance, this pose is used in nearly every type of pageant. While it is important for every contestant to master, it is crucial for younger contestants. Generally, contestants under the age of 10 wear a short cupcake dress. This means the judges will see their feet. If a judge sees a poorly position feet, points could be taken off the contestant's score.
To achieve perfect "Pretty Feet," the heel of your front foot should touch the inside arch of the back foot forming a T. In terms of your arms, they should be held out with straight hands and elbows. If you are wearing a cupcake dress, your fingertips should reach the edge of the skirt. Fun fact, this pose is similar to the first position of ballet!
Contestant Presley Lynn models her beauty wear at the 2018 Universal Royalty Beauty Pageant. Photo: Presley Lynn Instagram
For contestants who choose to wear a long gown at or younger than the Teen division, the same stance should be adopted. Your arms and elbows should be kept straight with your hands forming a slight cup that lightly touches the gown. "For evening wear, I like to keep it basic and just keep my shoulders back and let my arms swing a little," said Miss Gulf Coast Teen USA 2018 and longtime glitz competitor Chloe Alford. The look is elegant but allows for a lot of contestant's personality and poise to shine through, which could result in high points from the judges!
Chloe Alford pictured in her Mac Duggal evening gown after placing as 2nd Alternate at the 2017 Miss Rattlesnake Rodeo Pageant. Photo: Chloe Alford
This is where a contestant's personality can truly shine! The swimsuit competition in a glitz pageant is a complete 180 from the evening gown competition. While the evening gown competition is about poise and elegance, the swimsuit competition is all about personality and sass! The swimwear walk is much more free than in evening gown. First off, younger contestants tend to be barefoot or wear little foot jewels. This allows for a much faster walk filled with bounce and pizzazz. Swimsuit also means ruffles and big curls!
The traditional "T" pattern serves as a very loose guide during this portion of the competition. A swimsuit routine is normally choreographed to upbeat music. The "T" serves as a guide that can help in learning a routine but does not necessarily have to be followed. In terms of choreography, do not be afraid to add spins, turns and head bobbles. Just remember not to jam pack the routine with so much choreography that you risk not finishing or forgetting the routine. A well-executed, simple routine will almost always score better than a poorly executed, complicated one.
The important thing to remember is to keep the energy high during the routine. Glitz swimsuits are full of bows, rhinestones and ruffles galore. Add this to the big hair and makeup and it results in a very busy look. Your personality needs to command as much attention as your costume!
A glitz swimwear routine is full of bright color and personality. Photo: Universal Royalty Beauty Pageant
Another high energy type of routine, western wear is the pinnacle of the glitz fun fashion competition. Like the swimsuit competition, the "T" pattern on the stage is only a loose guide. This is a choreographed routine that, again, is all about energy and spunk.
"Depending on the pageant and style and tempo set for it, you have to be sassy," Alford said. "Throwing a hand on the hip and popping a leg to the side makes me feel super confident and shows the judges my personality."
One important move incorporated into a western wear routine is the "rip off." This is when part of the costume is removed during the routine and is used as a prop. This is usually a jacket, cape, hat, scarf or skirt overlay. A great guide when choreographing a western wear routine would be to look at a line dance. The traditional moves can be adapted for the pageant stage to bring an authentic touch and really sell the routine to the judges.
Where to get help
If you are looking for a glitz pageant to enter, Pageant Planet's Directory contains hundreds of pageants. With so many options and filters, you are certain to find the right pageant for you. If you need help in any area of pageant preparation, our exclusive VIP membership offers one-on-one coaching services for pageants of all kinds, including glitz! Combined with these new, free courses, you are certain to succeed at your next pageant!
"For glitz, our VIP is best used for wardrobe and photo reviews," said Pageant Planet's Queen of Coaching, Jesse Ladoue. "Contestants can submit photos of their different wardrobe items, hairstyle ideas, etc. We can also help them determine the best headshot or photogenic entries. Glitz girls can also video their walk and upload it to a private YouTube video for critique." Pageant Planet's VIP Coaching also offers the opportunity for glitz interview preparation as well. "For our mock interviews, those can be used to run through any introduction as well as traditional glitz interview questions," said Ladoue. Check out the details here!
Miss Trailblazer 2018, Chloe Alford. Photo: Chloe Alford
Glitz pageants offer high glamour and sparkle for contestants seeking the Ultimate Supreme title. Learning to walk for these pageants may not be easy, but with hard work and preparation, you may hear your name called for the top title! Alford summed up the process perfectly. "At the end of the day, it's the opinions of three people and whether or not you take home the crown, you're still a queen," Alford said. "With whatever you do, confidence is key and judges can see if you're confident or not so rock whatever you're doing, give it 110 percent and, of course, have fun! The walk you do isn't going to make you win or lose, it's how you execute the walk and feel while doing it; that's what really matters." What tips do you have for walking in a glitz pageant? Comment below!
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