“We’re not here to exist but to excel.” Those are the words which nine-year-old pageant winner Celine Warner lives by.
On June 30, Celine scored her first pageant win at the Next Generation’s Little Princess Talent and Pageant Show 2019, hosted at Hilton Trinidad, St Ann's.
Celine, a Pleasantville resident and standard four student of Anstey Memorial Girls’ Anglican School, San Fernando, told Newsday Kids she was happy to win the pageant, which she also took part in last year.
“I was in the same pageant last year and I came second. I was confident in myself last time but I really thought I would win this time,” she said. “Last year for the talent segment I did a reading from Antony and Cleopatra, but this year I did a dance and I thought the dance was better.”
Her mother, Celia George-Warner, said she was hesitant at first to let Celine participate in the pageant. She said Celine’s older brother saw the pageant being advertised at Hilton last year and encouraged her to enrol Celine. She explained her hesitation was due to her not wanting Celine to have to wear anything revealing or provocative at such a young age.
She said, “I knew it could boost her confidence a little bit more but I was still unsure. Then I spoke to the organisers of the show and they explained that it was more talent based and there was not like a swimsuit category or anything. We had a really, really good experience last year and they sent back the invitation again for this year.”
Celia, a nurse for almost 20 years, said their entire family was happy and encouraging of Celine’s performance both times she participated in the pageant. “She choreographed her own dance for the pageant this year so the whole family was really supportive of her.” About the pageant, she added, “It was better and even more organised this time around. The organisers are really cool people. The other participants were all cordial with each other and were taking pictures with each other as well.”
Though her pageant career has just taken off, Celine does not think she’ll stick with it for the rest of her life. “I don’t want to be Miss World or Miss Universe. I am enjoying it right now but I will stop after a while,” she said.
What Celine really wants to do is become a doctor. “I like to help people. I don’t know what type of doctor, but I want to be a doctor,” she said.
Her mother said she just wants her to have fun in everything, even pageantry. “We never thought that far ahead to Miss World or Miss Universe,” she said.
Apart from pageantry, Celine likes to dance, participate in gymnastics and sing, her favourite artiste being Jamaican singer Koffee.
As a primary school student and member of the Lael Dance Academy and The Oratory Foundation TT, Celine has a lot of balancing to do. Nevertheless, her favourite subjects are mathematics and grammar and her goal is to eventually attend Holy Faith Convent in Penal
Her mother said, “I am trying to get her settled into study mode. SEA (Secondary Entrance Assessment) is the focus right now. We make time for school work and extra-curricular stuff because I also want her to enjoy life. She’s been dancing ever since she was a baby. Every night before bed she’d have to dance with her father, Irvin and me.”
Celine’s role model is her mother who she said protects her and gives her good advice. And what is Celine’s advice for young people?
“With God all things are possible. We’re not here to exist but to excel. Oh! And work hard.”