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7/24/2013
'An amazing experience:' Scott reflects on DYW

By MARJORIE CLARK

Daily News Staff Writer

Hard work and dedication earned recent Ketchikan High School graduate, Emma Scott, a spot at the national Distinguished Young Women competition in Mobile, Ala. Scott attended the competition as the Young Woman from Alaska, an honor she won at the state competition held in March.

Scott said she had volunteered for DYW for three years and met some great people through the program. It was through volunteering that she decided to participate in the competition during her senior year at Kayhi.

"At the state program, it really doesn’t feel like a pageant at all," she said. "I knew that I wanted to do it my senior year, and I had a lot of fun."

To prepare for the national competition, Scott worked on her talent, a tap-dance routine, and a fitness routine.

She said the fitness routine is a 10-minute choreographed routine that combines zumba, tai bo and crossfit. The girls perform in groups first, then solo.

"It’s nerve wracking. I like working out, but I’m definitely not someone who’s used to someone watching me working out," she said. "I’m also a dancer, so it’s just that rule where if you perform it well, you’ll do well."

For her talent Scott performed a tap-dance choreographed by Elizabeth Avila, an instructor at Ketchikan Theater Ballet. Set to "All I Do Is Dream Of You" from "Singing in the Rain," the piece was choreographed and learned in about one hour, according to Avila.

"She’s such a tremendous dancer that I can make things up on the spot, and if something doesn’t work out, she very easily adapts to whatever else we change it to," Avila said.

Avila said Scott is hard working and talented, especially in tap, though she dances ballet too.

"She’s probably one of the more talented tap dancers I’ve seen," Avila said. "But she also works really hard. She’s really good."

Avila also said Scott was "generous" with her time and talent, often helping other students learn the steps.

"She’s been at the top of her class for a long time, and regardless of the new younger students coming in, she shows no superiority whatsoever," Avila said.

Scott said she enjoyed the competition in Alabama and was excited to see a new part of the country. Though the weather did not agree with her.

"I’ve never been to the South before, so it was interesting to experience Southern culture for the first time," she said. "The thing I hated the most was the heat because I’m not used to the humidity. I like the cool rainy weather better."

While in Alabama, she was paired with Miss New York, Brittany Egnot, and the two of them stayed with a host family.

"[Egnot] was from the Albany area so she was used to the rainy cool weather too," Scott said. "She had never been in the South either, so it was something to experience together."

Scott was in Mobile for two weeks before the June 29 competition, though most of the time was spent outside the realm of competition, doing service and making appearances in the community with the 49 other girls.

When it came down to the competition, Scott said that even though there was stress, she had a really fun time.

"It was an amazing experience," she said. "It was really different than anything I’ve ever done."

Scott is now preparing to attend Seattle University where she will major in economics and history, with a minor in French, which she hopes will help her move toward a graduate degree in law or business.

"I like to have a global perspective," she said. "Doing something international, like working for the [United Nations] or something like that, would be like a dream job."

Avila praised Scott’s hard work and dedication.

"It’s...very exciting for her because she’ll go on to do some pretty amazing things," Avila said. "She’s one in a million."