Being yourself is important
An immune reaction to eating gluten made Danni Booth so ill she had to pull out of Miss Universe a few years ago.
‘‘I was scared of re-entering because I didn’t know whether it was for me or not. But this year, this is my year.’’
The 27-year-old from Whitby has put that experience behind her and is focusing on showing pageantry judges that the upcoming grand final in August isn’t just about physical beauty.
‘‘I think all of us have those hang ups, every now and again, of wondering whether we are good enough. But what I’ve learned throughout my Miss Universe journey is to appreciate myself, and my strengths and weaknesses.
‘‘Over the past couple of years, I have been pushing myself which is why I re-entered the competition, to get me out of my comfort zone. I’m not focusing on the beauty side of things, but how I can utilise this opportunity to better myself and be a role model for other women and young girls.’’
A self-professed former tomboy, she grew up playing football since the age of five. It wasn’t until she was 15 that Booth had to play in women’s teams.
She also grew up dancing, and has been teaching dance since 14-years-old.
At the Tracy Odelle School of Modern Dance in Tawa, Booth has been a role model to many young dancers.
She sees this pageantry as a method of taking that one step further.
‘‘Over the years, I’ve been able to influence and help heaps of young kids and support them through some hard times.
‘‘So, this is an amazing platform to encourage girls and women of all ages that there is only one version of you and to embrace it.’’
Booth has organised a dancing fundraising event for children’s charity, Variety, at Whitireia Theatre on July 30.
Naked Choir host Jeff Hunkin, a former Tawa College classmate, will emcee the night and feature Stan Walker’s New Zealand manager Bev Adair as guest speaker.
After making it through stiletto camp earlier this year, Booth is one of 20 finalists who will take the stage for the grand final at the Sky City Theatre in August.
Danni Booth is in the running to be Miss Universe NZ having made it through to the top 20, and if successful will represent New Zealand on the international stage.