‘It is not all about make-up and swimwear’

Libby Shakespeare is trying to raise money for charity as part of the Miss Preston contest.
Libby Shakespeare is trying to raise money for charity as part of the Miss Preston contest.

A graduate of the Spalding School of Dance is hoping to become a role model for women after being scouted to take part in a competition that she says is not just a “beauty pageant”.

Twenty-year-old Libby Shakespeare wants to get the message across that the competition is about personality and building confidence.

The dancer, who went to the former Spalding Gleed Girls’ School and Spalding Grammar Sixth Form, was scouted to take part in Miss Preston 2017 while walking through the shopping centre.

She moved to the Lancashire city in September to study at the Preston College Dance Academy and said she only entered the competition when they explained it wasn’t all about glamour and looks.

She said: “It’s not something I would ever have thought about doing. My friends had a mixed view on it as they know it’s not normally me but I saw it as a way of changing people’s perspectives.

“People have this idea about beauty pageants - that it’s all about bikinis and make-up, but it’s not. In fact, swimwear and the word pageant is banned in the competition!

“There are 30 of us in the final and one of the tasks is to raise money for charity. For this I am trying to raise a minimum of £200 for the children’s charity Variety. I am holding a ‘non make-up day’ at my dancing college, (and make-up day for boys!) a tapathon (where I’m dancing for six hours), a bake sale and many other fundraisers.”

That’s in-between studying for her degree and a part-time job teaching a jazz class. The competition final is on April 17.

To help Libby raise money for the Variety charity you can go to her Go Fund Me page at www.gofundme.com/dkeeh-variety-the-childrens-charity