<$BlogRSDUrl$>

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Only Little Miss Hampton Beach now a Patriots Cheerleader 

Posted by James at 2:40 PM ET

By Annie Hamilton
SeacoastOnline.com
Kelly, Patriots Cheerleader Kelly Looke went from the stage to the field. As the only Little Miss Hampton Beach, Looke, now 22 and a New England Patriots Cheerleader, looks back on her 1996 crowning with pride.

"I wasn't expecting it," said Looke, explaining how a lot of the other contestants had already competed in pageants.

Organizers of the annual Miss Hampton Beach pageant, which has been running successfully for 62 years, are developing plans to bring back the Little Miss pageant. Due to the death of child beauty pageant star JonBenét Ramsey in 1996 it was decided not to continue the Little Miss Hampton Beach pageant.

Organizer Stephanie Lussier, 1995's Miss Hampton Beach, is considering bringing the Little Miss Hampton Beach pageant back for the summer of 2009 because of heightened interest from younger girls wanting to compete.

In the summer of 1996, Looke entered the children's pageant just for fun, and won.

A native of Vernon, Conn., Looke spent summers at Hampton Beach as a child. She has been a competitive dancer her whole life and only entered the pageant on a lark. At 11 years old, it was her first and her last pageant. Looke said she was very surprised when she was crowned Little Miss Hampton Beach.

Looke remembers the pageant starting with a group dance routine with all the competing girls. They also modeled a sportswear outfit and an evening gown. During the question-and answer-section, Looke was asked to pick one person to represent Hampton and to give a reason for her choice. Looke laughed as she remembered answering that her parents represented Hampton the best because they went to the beach every summer and they loved it.

Last year, Looke entered another competition "just for fun," and tried out to be a New England Patriots Cheerleader. She surprised herself again when she kept making the cut. Out of the hundreds of girls who tried out, she wasn't expecting to make the team.

Even after a year, Looke said, it still feels surreal to be at promotional events and have people asking for her autograph.

It's not all play for Looke, however. This past May, she graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a bachelor's degree in communications with a concentration in public relations.

Come September, she'll start graduate school at Central Connecticut State University. Her goal is to get a master's degree in student development in higher education. Looke would like to do administrative work at a college, perhaps counseling or becoming a dean of students.

"I loved college and I love students," said Looke, adding she was inspired by her administrators and counselors while at college.

While concentrating on her studies at graduate school, Looke will be working at an on-campus job and cheering for the Patriots part time to pay her own way to a master's degree.

"Right now, I'm just trying to enjoy my summer," she said. Her work keeps her busy, but she says, "I like it. It's fun."

Looke said she probably won't dance professionally forever, but she will at least continue it on her own time. She may even decide to coach a high school or college dance team.

Kelly, Patriots Cheerleader

"I know I'll always dance," she said. "I love it and I know I'll never give that up."

Kelly Looke went from the stage to the field. As the only Little Miss Hampton Beach, Looke, now 22 and a New England Patriots Cheerleader, looks back on her 1996 crowning with pride.

"I wasn't expecting it," said Looke, explaining how a lot of the other contestants had already competed in pageants.

Organizers of the annual Miss Hampton Beach pageant, which has been running successfully for 62 years, are developing plans to bring back the Little Miss pageant. Due to the death of child beauty pageant star JonBenét Ramsey in 1996 it was decided not to continue the Little Miss Hampton Beach pageant.

Organizer Stephanie Lussier, 1995's Miss Hampton Beach, is considering bringing the Little Miss Hampton Beach pageant back for the summer of 2009 because of heightened interest from younger girls wanting to compete.

In the summer of 1996, Looke entered the children's pageant just for fun, and won.

A native of Vernon, Conn., Looke spent summers at Hampton Beach as a child. She has been a competitive dancer her whole life and only entered the pageant on a lark. At 11 years old, it was her first and her last pageant. Looke said she was very surprised when she was crowned Little Miss Hampton Beach.

Looke remembers the pageant starting with a group dance routine with all the competing girls. They also modeled a sportswear outfit and an evening gown. During the question-and answer-section, Looke was asked to pick one person to represent Hampton and to give a reason for her choice. Looke laughed as she remembered answering that her parents represented Hampton the best because they went to the beach every summer and they loved it.

Last year, Looke entered another competition "just for fun," and tried out to be a New England Patriots cheerleader. She surprised herself again when she kept making the cut. Out of the hundreds of girls who tried out, she wasn't expecting to make the team.

Even after a year, Looke said, it still feels surreal to be at promotional events and have people asking for her autograph.

It's not all play for Looke, however. This past May, she graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a bachelor's degree in communications with a concentration in public relations.

Come September, she'll start graduate school at Central Connecticut State University. Her goal is to get a master's degree in student development in higher education. Looke would like to do administrative work at a college, perhaps counseling or becoming a dean of students.

"I loved college and I love students," said Looke, adding she was inspired by her administrators and counselors while at college.

While concentrating on her studies at graduate school, Looke will be working at an on-campus job and cheering for the Patriots part time to pay her own way to a master's degree.

"Right now, I'm just trying to enjoy my summer," she said. Her work keeps her busy, but she says, "I like it. It's fun."

Looke said she probably won't dance professionally forever, but she will at least continue it on her own time. She may even decide to coach a high school or college dance team.

"I know I'll always dance," she said. "I love it and I know I'll never give that up."

Labels: