Miss Manawatu ready to fulfil her role
Newly crowned Miss Manawatu Michelle Feldberg is ready for whatever her new role brings.
Feldberg was chosen from a line-up of 26 women at the pageant on July 23 to wear the crown last competed for in 2014.
The 24-year-old administrator and professional dance instructor with a Diploma in Commercial Dance from Wellington Performing Arts, said the implications of her win were ‘‘slowly sinking in’’.
‘‘I entered Miss Manawatu in 2012, and loved it. It was a wonderful experience, and I got to meet so many lovely, beautiful girls, as well as dress up and look pretty.’’
Feldberg came out of the 2012 contest as second runner-up and said taking part gave her self confidence.
‘‘My thoughts about going into the competition were primarily to be a blessing to the girls around me, and to Kate [Balfour]... Kate did an amazing job of this pageant... it was even better than the first time. My aim was to use my experience to help and encourage the other women.’’
As far as having any expectations of winning, there were none, she said.
‘‘I entered not necessarily expecting to place - I was in it for the enjoyment of being in it.
‘‘There were a lot of beautiful and intelligent women this year. All I know is that I chose to be myself throughout the competition, and to give my best at every workshop and every rehearsal.’’
The new Miss Manawatu expressed her admiration for a predecessor, Louise Nelson (2013) who started a young women’s mentoring programme and also helped out behind the scenes with this competition.
If Feldberg is to pass on her crown in 2017, someone will need to take the pageant over following Balfour’s retirement.
‘‘She’s left it in a great place. I hope someone with fresh ideas will pick up where she left off.’’
With her first official Miss Manawatu function as a model for the 25 Years of Women in Policing celebration last Tuesday, Feldberg was ready to fully embrace the opportunity the role brings.
‘‘I would like to be a voice for women; to help them be empowered; to be a good example and a good ambassador for the city, and to help out wherever I can.
‘‘Miss Manawatu is not about me, it’s about people - really, my role is to serve.’’
Miss Manawatu Michelle Feldberg conducts a dance class.