Veronica Asence began taking ballet classes at the age of 5, and later performed in the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s “Nutcracker.”
Last Saturday, the Bothell native and certified dance teacher through the American Ballet Theatre added 2012 Miss Seafair to her accomplishment list.
“I felt speechless. I was shocked,” Asence said of being crowned at the downtown Seattle Westlake TV Zone. “It was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life.”
Asence, 23, who will make more than 100 appearances at Seattle-area events in the coming year, received a $5,000 check from Davis Wright Tremaine LLP (“Defining Success Together” is their motto) along with $3,300 more through The Scholarship Program for Women.
Veronica and the other 14 candidates were evaluated in areas including academic accomplishments, public speaking, interview skills and creative expression.
“Every girl had something going for her. It was a really supportive group,” Ascence said about the other contestants. “I felt I had a good chance, being a well-rounded person.”
Asence, who graduated from Seattle University in 2010 with degrees in humanities and French, is currently attending Cascadia Community College to complete prerequisites for entrance into a physical therapy doctoral program. She also studied abroad at the University of Paris for a semester to better understand the language to apply to her ballet terminology.
Currently, she teaches at Vibe Dance Studio in Everett.
Asence noted that dancing is her passion and it has shaped her personality, from age 5 to now.
“I feel ballet has given me a sense of discipline, high expectations, grace and poise,” she said. “I apply it to my life daily.”
Added Veronica’s mother, Faye: “My husband and I are so happy for her and very proud of her accomplishments. She’s been wanting to participate after high school, but finally this year she decided to try as she is back to school.” (One of the requirements to be Miss Seafair is that the candidates must be enrolled in school.)
Faye added that her daughter is focused in school and loves to dance. As for the scholarship money, Faye noted that it will help Veronica continue her education and hopefully get into the Massachusetts General Hospital doctorate of physical therapy program.
Thanks to her favorite lifestyle blog, A Cup of Jo, written by Joanna Goddard, the new Miss Seafair was inspired to go for the crown.
One day, Goddard wrote, “You can have the life you want,” and that saying struck a chord with Veronica.
“I put it at the top of my computer, and I kept on thinking about that,” she said.
In addition to dancing and studying in school, Veronica currently serves as a kennel attendant at a local PAWS animal shelter, and in the past has volunteered at the Denise Louie Education Center and Urban Impact, which provides multi-cultural early learning services to children and families.
She also enjoys baking, cooking, traveling, writing and practicing yoga.