KINGSTON, N.S. - Aaliyah Hiltz’s love of pageants stems back to her days as a pint-sized Miss Valley Ex competitor.
She fondly remembers discovering her love for the spotlight while toddling across a stage at the annual exhibition in Lawrencetown at just four or five years old.
“That kind of put the spark in me and I’ve just been searching for pageants ever since,” says Hiltz.
These days, however, she’s preparing for a competition that’s not quite so close to home.
The 16-year-old Kingston resident is readying to compete in a Miss Teen Galaxy Canada pageant in Toronto, Ont. in April.
Pageant participants will be graded in several categories evaluating their photogenic qualities, elegance in evening gowns and interview skills – among other things.
“I need to be prepared physically to look my best on stage, so there’s going to be a lot of training there… and with interviews I’ll be practicing a lot of questions,” says Hiltz, a former Miss Teen Nova Scotia contender.
Hiltz, a Grade 11 student at West Kings District High School, can hardly wait to show off all she’s learned from participating in past pageants.
“Pageants combine everything that I love. I love public speaking, I love being on stage, I love the management aspect of it,” says Hiltz, an aspiring nurse who balances her pageant work with studies, musical theatre and the Japanese martial art of Aikido.
She’ll spend her time fundraising and mentally and physically preparing for the pageant leading up to the competition spanning from April 26-28.
While the end results remain to be seen, Hiltz is sure the positive takeaways from the impending trip to Toronto will include new friendships, useful advice from judges and skills that will prove valuable throughout her lifetime.
“At the pageant you always meet so many girls who are interested in the same things as you and who also love being on stage.”