Be­ing your­self is im­por­tant

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES PAUL

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.

JAMES PAUL

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.

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