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Olson will continue dancing her way to NYC

2011 Miss Greater Greer

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Saturday, February 11, 2012

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2011 Miss Greater Greer Laci Olson

2011 Miss Greater Greer Laci Olson

 

There are three suggestions  2011 Miss Greater Greer Laci Olson has for the 2012 queen.

"Always wear high heels.

"Always wear lipstick.

"If you're 15 minutes early, you are late," Olson said.

Olson will crown her successor tonight at the 2012 Miss Greater Greer and Teen pageant at Greer High School.

Between rehearsing and doling out tips and information to this year's contestants, Olson was also nursing a cold. She reflected on some of  the reactions she experienced the night she won Miss Greater Greer and her year as the 59th member of an elite group of women.

"I was standing on the stage with the three awards I won from each preliminary (talent, evening gown and swimsuit)," Olson said. "They called my name as Miss Greater Greer and I was trapped in my dress with the awards. It all became a fog. The announcer was talking and when I came forward to get my crown my thighs were burning because I had to bend a while for the crown to be placed."

The girls went through a 5-hour rehearsal Thursday night. Olson was helping with stage props, talking and assisting contestants with advice or tips like how to adjust to a slippery floor if you're a dancer. "I tell the girls that they should chill a little. I was in these girls shoes."

And how do girls know when they are ready for a local or state competition? "You have to look in the mirror and say, 'It's me'. Like Lady Gaga says, 'You're born this way.' I try to stay true to myself all the time."

Olson said it was "like utopia, a perfect night."

Wearing the crown had an immediate impact when Olson made public appearances. "The first thing I noticed was all the little girls looking up at me."

Preparation for the Miss South Carolina pageant was full-time for about three months, Olson said. Most girls would aspire to shop daily for some of the most beautiful clothes, work on makeup, practice talent and have a personal fitness trainer. "It's hectic and non-stop," Olson said.

The prize of reaching the Miss South Carolina pageant was the fulfillment of a dream accompanied by work and perseverance.  "Miss South Carolina was so much fun. It's chaotic but it's organized chaos," Olson said.

Olson said there is a genuine feeling of camaraderie among the contestants. "We all sit together on the bus and support each other. We're running on sleep depravation.The pageant itself is different, is's a very special night. We know there are about 50 of us and only one girl will win. It's like a sorority. We're happy for each other."

Olson reflected on a year that introduced her to a community she wasn't familiar with but it became an extended family of friends. "I had never been to Greer so much. I lived in Greenville and went to school at (USC) Upstate. I learned the people of Greer take care of their own. I have become family. They have been special in supporting me and all the friends and acquaintances I've met have been a wonderful experience.

"I got to meet an entire new level of people in business," Olson said. "We've discussed my plans of being a dancer in New York, particularly with the Rockettes. They say 'I know somebody you can stay with or I have a friend in New York. They have made available some opportunities I didn't have before I was Miss Greer."

Olson said the perception of a smiling, beautiful girl with a crown not having anything but a red carpet await her every appearance, is not quite entirely accurate. "My year has had its ups and downs. I have grown individually. There are times where we have to have our own private time. Sometimes maybe we have to go to our bedroom and cry. The reality of it is you can't be peppy all the time."

Olson is living her dream of going to New York City to pursue a dancing career. She is focused on making the Rockettes by taking dance classes in NYC and an advanced week of dance instruction to help reach her goal. 

"Dancers have it or they don't," Olson said. You can be 30-years-old and still make the Rockettes. I've known girls older that look great and are still performing with them. I like the Rockettes because they are classy, elegant, they have an air about them and they are highly respected."

Olson, a communications major, said she doesn't have trouble blending in with students and the public. "Most of the people at Upstate would look at me and not think I was Miss Greer. I don't put on makeup to go to classes. You have to know when to turn on and off the pageant look."

When Olson crowns the 2012 Miss Greater Greer in a few hours there is one thing she can take with her. "I get to keep my crown."

Businesses mentioned in this article.

The Davenport

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