Women to be refined diamonds

T'Nerra Butler, Staff Reporter

Women will be dressed elegantly for the 44th Annual Miss Black EIU Pageant at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Grand Ballroom of the

Mariah Scott, a junior communication studies major, practices her dance for her creative expression piece during the rehearsal for Miss Black EIU 2015 on Feb. 18.
Chynna Miller
Mariah Scott, a junior communication studies major, practices her dance for her creative expression piece during the rehearsal for Miss Black EIU 2015 on Feb. 18.

Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

This year’s pageant theme is “Diamonds in Disguise: A Ladies Guide to Refinement.”

Eight contestants will be entertaining the audience in five scenes that evening. The scenes consist of creative expression, African garment, talent, eveningwear and impromptu.

The winner of the pageant will receive a $1,500 scholarship.

The coordinators have had the women in vigorous practice for four months. Each contestant is assigned pageant coaches to devote one-on-one time with them and critique their routine.

Alexis Lambert, who is currently the Miss Black EIU Queen, said her day can be hectic, but is fulfilling.

“You are expected to coordinate the entire program, and go to meetings, but still support the African-American Heritage Month,” Lambert said. “I just want people to come see how much work the girls have put into the show.”

Contestant number two, Whitney Turner, a junior psychology major, said she is most confident about her talent portion, which is interpretive dancing.

“I want my story out there, and I praise dancing will do that,” Turner said. “It’s my biggest strength and shows who I am.”

Contestant number three, Alexandria Neff, a senior political science major, said this experience is helping her move forward.

“I’ve wanted to do this pageant since freshman year, and if I do win it’s overcoming something that I wanted to do,” Neff said. “I’ve finally pushed through emotions within myself and got to a comfortable place.”

Neff said even though she has different experiences from the other women, she connects with them. She said in this pageant she is baring it all and sugar coating nothing.

Contestant number one, Anisha Coleman, a senior nursing major, said it is more than a pageant, and those who are considering joining should join.

“You do have a voice, and if you really need that voice, come to this pageant,” Coleman said.

Contestant number four, Carolyn Davis, a senior sociology major, said the pageant does not have a competitive feel.

“If you have a passion for something, it will never feel like a chore, and I have grown a bond with my pageant sisters,” Davis said. “It’s also really good to have Alexis leading us in such a positive light.”

Lambert said she is the toughest critic as well as the contestants’ biggest cheerleader all at once because she is hard on them.

 “If you come, you will be watching these girls be refined as the night goes on. We take things and throw them at the girls and see what they can do under the pressure,” Lambert said.

To apply, contestants have to attain a 2.5 GPA, 12 credit hours and they have to be a reoccurring student to Eastern.

Tickets online are $8 in advance at UniversityUnionTickets.com and $10 at the door. VIP tickets are also available online for $10 and $15 the door; these are reserved for the first two rows.

“They’re going to see us take fire to a piece of coal and make it a diamond.” Lambert said. “We’re transforming a mere glimmer into a sparkle.”

T’Nerra Butler can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].