Brittany-Anne hoping for spot on Miss Universe show

By RON FANFAIR

She may be one of the youngest and less experienced when it comes to handling the pressure of appearing in a major pageant. However, 19-year-old Brittany-Anne Dawes doesn’t mind. She relishes challenges, including tomorrow night’s Miss Universe Canada Central Ontario pageant in which she’s one of 44 participants.

A total of 10 finalists will be selected from the field, that includes entrants with pageant experience in Canada and abroad, for the national final next year and the winner will go on to represent Canada at the 2010 Miss Universe in Zagreb, Croatia on July 15.

“I am involved in a non-profit organization (Por Amor) that seeks to spread community love and mentor young people in some of the designated priority neighbourhoods in our city,” said the Westhill Collegiate Institute graduate and second-year University of Toronto nursing and criminal law student. “I also love to do charitable work and I figure a stage such as Miss Universe would be the perfect platform to get my messages across to a wider audience. That’s the main reason why I am doing this.”

Dawes admitted she was a bit intimidated when she signed up last June.

“It’s the first time I am doing something like this and I did not know quite what to expect,” she said. “Most of the girls have experience in pageants, but the training I have acquired in the past few months has made me more relaxed and confident. I am looking forward to tomorrow’s event with the purpose of qualifying to be among the top 10. That’s the goal.”

Dawes has been busy during the summer and so far this fall rehearsing on the weekends, attending classes and working part-time.

“It has been hectic, but I am an organized person and I am getting through,” she said. “You have to work hard if you really want something and that’s what I am doing.”

She said her family, including her mother Pauline Dawes who is a registered nurse, are her biggest boosters.

“They are there with their full support, encouraging me to go on stage and gave my best effort,” said Dawes who also enjoys dramatic acting and belly dancing. “That has been very re-assuring because when the stage lights go out, I know they will still be there for me.”

Tomorrow’s pageant starts at 7 p.m.

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