Hello everyone! My name is Emma, and I am more than honored to be representing Toronto – my hometown – as your Miss Teenage Toronto at the national Miss Teenage Canada pageant this coming August.

Pageantry is new territory to me, and the whole idea of entering a pageant made me both nervous and excited, as I didn’t know what to expect. Following my placement in the Miss Teenage Ontario Preliminary Provincial pageant, I learned so much about what a pageant girl truly is. All the young women that I met at the Ontario pageant were so incredibly kind-hearted, intelligent and dedicated. I never felt a bad atmosphere from any of the delegates – it was very refreshing to be surrounded by like-minded and driven ladies, all of  which only radiated positivity from the inside out!

As nationals are coming up in just a few weeks, I wanted to spend a little bit of time introducing myself, as well as my platform; what I stand for.

I am 18 years old, born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. I have been a ballet dancer for 15 years, and started taking my training seriously when I turned about 10 years old. Ballet is such an important element in my life and I truly cannot imagine where I would be without it. Ballet has taught me discipline, diligence, grit and independence. It has improved my memorization skills, time management skills, taught me how to fight for the things that I want, and taught me how to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

In the near future, I hope to dance professionally in a ballet company, perhaps somewhere overseas – dancing in Europe has been my biggest dream, and I will stop at nothing to achieve that! Ballet, art, in general, makes my soul warm and happy, and my life complete. I briefly taught ballet for about a year and a half, not to long ago, and plan on opening a ballet studio once I retire from dancing professionally.

Some other hobbies which I thoroughly enjoy participating in in my free time are reading, writing, exercising, travelling, cooking, painting, drawing and watching some popular shows. My favorite show at the moment is My Hero Academia; a show about a boy born without superpowers in a world where they have become commonplace, but who still dreams of becoming a superhero himself.

My school life – especially when I got to high school – became a bit difficult. It was not easy to keep up with school obligations once I started taking my ballet training seriously. To accommodate my rigorous schedule, I switched to online/homeschooling in grade 11, and graduated high school in February 2021 as an Honor Roll student. I will be continuing my studies (online/homeschooled) with Queen’s University this coming September, and will be studying English Language and Literature.

As a Miss Teenage Canada delegate, I would like this pageant to be a conduit for my platform which will spread a positive message to young ladies, everywhere – a message which talks about the importance of self-love.

With my pre-professional ballet training, I have been exposed to the more negative side effects of the ballet world. Because our bodies are our instruments, we need to be in tune with them, and we are expected to be in the best shape possible, at all times. This is a very strict principle learned from a young age. Often times, because of the unrealistic standards pressured upon ballet dancers – especially young dancers – we grow up with low self-esteem and in some serious cases, develop body dysmorphia. These ballet standards pushed against us, along with society’s ideal expectations of what a regular women should look like, make self-hatred more common than self-love.

About a year or two ago, I came to the conclusion that I can appreciate myself just the way I am, while still being successful in my career. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I spent one year away from the ballet world, and had the opportunity to re-analyze some things. I had a lot of time to reflect on my past self, and learn about who I truly am. Previously, I was insecure; now, I am confident in who I am.

I have heard, time and time again, a little saying that goes like this: “If you don’t love yourself, how can you love someone else?” I agree. Loving and appreciating yourself – imperfections and all; is a crucial step towards making healthy, knowledgeable decisions in life and setting boundaries where needed. With this being said, I want to make it my mission to empower young girls, and promote the ideology of self-love; a crucial step towards leading a confident and healthy lifestyle.

I am so excited to meet all the other Miss Teenage Canada delegates and I am eagerly counting down the days until I can once again, learn and be in the presence of such alike ladies.

Written by: Emma