Shireifa Joseph created history last weekend when she became the winner of the inaugural Miss Bajantics pageant.
Themed Fun and Fitness Meets Charity, the pageant was one with a difference, merging the glitz and glamour of pageantry with the energy and discipline of dance and exercise.
It made for one interesting, unique and definitely fun-filled evening at the Derrick Smith Vocational School in Jackman’s St Michael.
Joseph walked away with most of the awards, emphatically proving that she was the best among the contestants.
She took the awards for Miss Photogenic, Miss Congeniality, Best Talent and Best Question and Answer.
Joseph also showed how talented she is when she performed a well-known piece by poet Maya Angelou called Balancing Act.
She brought it to life by adding her personal touch to the performance that featured a dramatic presentation followed by a dance.
Crowd support for the 25-year-old was great from the beginning with her friends and family cheering her on. As the show progressed, she became everyone’s favourite as she won the hearts of the remaining audience members and the judges.
First runner up was Katherine Alleyne. She too was on point and took the titles for Best Gown, Most Respectful and Best Project.
Second runner-up was Akeila Darlington whose consistency, elegance, poise and, most of all, fitness were enough to earn her the spot in the top three.
Other contestants were Kim Brathwaithe and Deborah Proverbs.
Director and the organizer of the pageant, owner of Bajantics Dancercise, Marsha Wittier, said she was pleased with the production.
Bajantics was formed in January 2014 and is aimed at offering ladies an alternative means of exercise. It has proved successful.
A visibly emotional Marsha said “when I started, there were challenges at first because of doubts” about the sustainability of the business. However, she kept at it because she saw the benefits it could bring.
“When I started, sometimes I had five persons in a class and sometimes one,” she said. “Despite how hard it was, I always knew where I was heading.”
Marsha said she enjoys working with the ladies and is often overwhelmed and overjoyed when she hears how her dancercise class helps them to be healthy.