Junior Miss poised for success

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 2004

She’s bright, talented, poised and possesses a beautiful, sunny smile that lights up any room she enters.

Meet Butler County’s new Junior Miss for 2005, 17-year-old Salley Burkett, daughter of Ronald and Ellen Burkett and big sister to 14-year-old brother, Cliff.

Salley, an honor student at Fort Dale Academy, is co-captain of the school’s dance team with fellow Junior Miss contender (and First Alternate) Elizabeth Cauthen.

She’s also a member of The Fellowship of Active Christian Teachers and Students, the Student Government Association, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Math Honorary and the Senior Beta Club at FDA. Outside of school, Salley says she &uot;truly enjoys&uot; being involved in the Girl Scouts and activities at her church, First Baptist of Greenville.

The teen has studied dance since an early age (&uot;I was three or four, I think&uot;) and chose to use the routine she performed in last spring’s dance recital – the wedding scene in Act II of the classical ballet &uot;Sleeping Beauty&uot; – as her talent for the competition.

&uot;It was one I felt really comfortable with and I continued to work on it all summer,&uot; Salley explains.

A technical glitch threatened disaster for her performance on the big night.

&uot;The tape had messed up once during our rehearsals, and I was really hoping it wouldn’t happen to me again – but it did,&uot; Salley explained.

Even though the music halted halfway through her routine, the young dancer proved to be a real trouper, completing her routine with a smile on her face and without a single faltering step.

Due to the technical error, Salley was allowed to give an encore performance of her talent. This time around, we are happy to report both tape and dancer performed without a hitch.

Butler County’s new Junior Miss says she hopes to attend

Samford University in Birmingham after graduation, and plans to major in business and minor in English.

As she looks ahead to the state finals, scheduled for mid-December at Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery, Salley says she is going to try to take things &uot;one day at a time.&uot;

&uot;I’ll be working on my talent, perfecting it…practicing mock interviews and keeping up with current events, watching the news and knowing what’s going on here and in other parts of the world,&uot; comments Salley. She adds answering the question on stage posed by the emcee was &uot;definitely the most nerve-wracking thing&uot; for her last Saturday night.

While she is sure to have some more tense and nervous moments over the next three months, Salley Burkett doesn’t regret for one moment her decision to participate in the Butler County Junior Miss program.

&uot;I really think every girl should consider getting involved in this. Junior Miss is lots of fun. It can get a little stressful at times – but you get a lot from being in this program.&uot;