By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
TRENTON – Most kids would have been happy with what Atalia Moore accomplished at the 2018 National American Miss New Jersey Jr. Pre-Teen pageant, winning a first place and a fourth runner-up prize in two categories in her very first competition.
She returned the New Jersey Jr. Pre-Teen competition more determined than ever and walked away overall 2019 National American Miss New Jersey Jr. Pre-Teen crown.
Atalia will now represent New Jersey in the National Jr. Pre-Teen Pageant this November in California where she will compete against 50 other girls in the Jr. Pre-Teen division from around the United States of America to be crowned National American Miss Jr. Pre-Teen.
Persistence Pays Off
“I am extremely proud of Atalia,” her mother Temaris Moore told Front Runner New Jersey.com. “As a public school educator in the inner-city of New York City working in schools where so many children are under-educated and miseducated, I am an advocate that one major key to the success of our youth academically and socially is exposure.
“Children will never know the limitless possibilities before them nor the vast options available to them if they are not exposed to various activities and have an array of experiences,” she added.
Ms. Moore admitted, though, she was hesitant at first for her daughter to participate in a “pageant,” particularly at such a young age until she did some homework on the National American Miss and what the contest was all about.
“I wasn’t big on the idea of beauty pageants for girls,” Ms. Moore said. “I continued to research the National American Miss pageant and realized that this wasn’t a beauty pageant at all rather a pageant where girls have to opportunity to build leadership skills and develop practical life skills like socialization, communication and confidence.
“Atalia participated in 2018 and although she won the title of first place in Top Model and fourth runner-up in talent she did not come home with the title. Atalia was persistent that she wanted to participate again and so she persuaded her grandmother to sponsor her,” she said.
In the competition held Aug. 1-3 at the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick, Atalia won first place in Top Model category again, but also first place in talent, first place in best Thank you Letter, won the State Finalist Award and the Spirit of America Award.
After ranking being named the Top 10 finalist she was crowned Miss New Jersey Jr. Pre-Teen. National American Miss run several young pageants for girls for the state and national competition, including Miss Princess (Ages 4-6), Miss Jr. Pre-Teen (7-9), Miss Pre-Teen (10-12), Miss Jr. Teen (13-15) and Miss Teen (16-18).
“This year’s participate were more culturally diverse than last year,” Ms. Moore said. “With a total of 203 participants from New Jersey in all Divisions there was an overwhelming 25 percent African-American representation.
Diversity Among Pageant Winners
“In fact, Atalia’s New Jersey sister queens from each division is a great representation of cultural diversity with the three African-Americans (one of African heritage, one of Haitian heritage and (Atalia) of Southern American heritage), one Latino, one Indian and one Caucasian,” she added.
Atalia has been dancing since 2 and has studied at the Ailey School in New York City, taking up ballet, tap, Jazz, and lyrical.
“As a third year pre-professional student of the Ailey School’s Junior Division, she matriculates through a graded curriculum of classical ballet, enriched by several other dance techniques developed by Lester Horton as well as the Duncan technique,” Ms. Moore said.
“In addition to her formal dance training, Atalia uses her gift of dance in ministry. The daughter of an ordained minister and as a member of the historic Shiloh Baptist Church of Trenton, Atalia often ministers in sacred dance where she allows the God to endow her feel-flowing movements with a sense of grace, peace and encouragement,” she added.
For the national competition, Atalia will compete in five categories, that includes:
- A submitted resume, which counts for 15 percent of the overall score
- Formal wear, which counts for 25 percent of the overall score
- Personal introduction, which counts for another 25 percent of the overall score
- Interview session, which counts for 25 percent of the overall score
- Finally, a community service project which counts for the final 10 percent.
Future Is Bright
Regardless of what happens there, the future appears to be as bright as the sun for Atalia.
“Atalia is a 10-year-old entering the fifth grade this school year,” Ms. Moore said. “Atalia will continue to serve in her church and her community. Atalia loves to dance and travel the world. Not only does she love to dance but she is a three-year martial arts student and an accomplished equestrian.
“Atalia has been riding horses since the age of three and has received many championships and first place awards in the American Saddlebred Horse Association Academy Walk & Trot Leadline between 2013-15 in the equestrian discipline of Dressage.
“In 2017 Atalia switched from Dressage to Hunter seat (horse jumping) and in 2018 she received first place in beginner Hunt Seat equitation for ages 10 and under. Due to her intense dance schedule and commitment to the art of dance she is no longer able to participate in horse shows but she still loves to ride for pleasure. We are not sure about what’s ahead for Atalia but we believe that her future is bright,” her mother added.
Those interested in following Atalia, can do so at her official Instagram sites: @Just_Atalia and @thenamnjjrpreteen and Facebook: @JustAtalia
Photos of Atalia Moore courtesy of Kirsten White/Kirsten White Photography
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