Steppin’ Out

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 4, 2007

Step Show, Miss Jubilee Pageant highlight Friday night

By Cassandra Mickens

The Selma Times-Journal

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Rita Hamilton of Lafayette, La., was crowned Miss Jubilee 2007 Friday night at J.A. Pickard Auditorium.

Hamilton, a 17-year-old student at Comeaux High School, covered her face with her hands in disbelief after pageant host Abrina D. Billups made the announcement.

Dressed in a rich pink full-length gown with ruching details and sparkling chandelier earrings, Hamilton accepted her tiara and trophy from Miss Jubilee 2006 Jerria Martin.

“I am so excited,” said Hamilton, who recently won the Martin Luther King Association Pageant in Lafayette.

Hamilton added it’s a tradition for the winner of the MLK Pageant to compete in Miss Jubilee.

Hamilton also won the Miss Talent Award for her ballet performance to the Mariah Carey song “Can’t Take That Away.”

She later admitted to being “very nervous” while on stage.

Seven contestants – including Hamilton – participated in casual wear, formal wear and talent competitions.

Monique C. Brown, a student at Wilcox Central High School, earned second place and Brandie J. Gallien of Louisiana earned third place.

Other pageant contestants include Ashley Savage, Ashley Washington, Angel Cardona and Ariel C. Gradnigo.

The Miss Jubilee Pageant was held in conjunction with the Jubilee Step Show, where youth groups Senior Culturama and the African Knights took first place honors.

Dressed in green camouflage gear and pink army boots, the ladies of Senior Culturama ordered the young audience to “Get Your Vote On” and “Learn Your History” throughout their performance, which was inspired by the 42nd anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery March.

The gentlemen of African Knights, dressed in baseball uniforms, chanted the letters “V-O-T-E” during their performance.

The groups’ intricate and synchronized footwork and fluid dance style had the audience on its feet.

Second place honors went to the Delta Gems and the Kappa League treated the audience to an exhibition performance.