Kelley headed for state DYW

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 11, 2014

Emily Kelley is shown with her mom, Mary Frances Kelley, at a tea held in her honor last weekend.

Emily Kelley is shown with her mom, Mary Frances Kelley, at a tea held in her honor last weekend.

Covington County’s Distinguished Young Woman for 2014 departed yesterday for Montgomery, where she’ll spend the week preparing for the state DYW event, set for Friday and Saturday.

Emily Kelley, who will compete as contestant No. 1 with 47 other young women in Montgomery, said preparing for the event has been a flurry of putting together a wardrobe, reviewing videos of the dance numbers participants will be expected to perform, practicing her talent, and studying current events and doing mock interviews.

In July, she won the talent, fitness and self-expression awards in the local competition. Her talent entry will be a dance en pointe to Donna Summers’ “I Will Go With You.”

Participants have been told they’ll rehearse from 7:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. daily. Throughout the week, they also will participate in special events.

She has met her Montgomery host family, and knows that her roommate will be Hannah Cherry from Autauga County.

Kelley, who dances with the Andalusia Ballet’s Senior Co., said the DYW dance routines are strenuous, but she believes her dance experience will help prepare her for that.

“My stamina is probably a little bit better than someone who doesn’t dance,” she said.

She was feted with a tea last weekend, and friends made buttons featuring her photograph for her supporters to wear in Montgomery.

An AHS senior, Kelley is the daughter of Jim and Mary Frances Kelley, the captain of the AHS majorettes, a City of Andalusia ambassador, and is a member of the First United Methodist Church youth group, AHS band, Diamond Dolls, the Anchor Club, the Usher Club, and Key Club. She plans to attend Auburn University.

DYW preliminaries are Friday night and Saturday afternoon, with finals Saturday evening.

Show times for preliminaries are at 7:30 p.m. Fri., Jan. 17; and 1:30 p.m. Sat., Jan. 18. Finals are at 7 p.m. on Sat., Jan. 18. All events are at Frazer United Methodist Church in Montgomery.