PAGEANT Talks Presents:
Miss New Jersey United States 2017 Alicia Marie Blanks
Hello I am Alicia Marie Blanks, a 26 year old Sag Model, Actress, Dancer and Entrepreneur. I was born and raised in Newark, NJ my parents are Candy and Andre Blanks. I attended Saint Lucy’s Grammar School and Saint Vincent’s Academy High School in Newark I started dancing at the age of three at The Newark School of Arts, and moved on to different dance schools such as Essex County College’s Saturday dance program, Just Dancin’ in Bloomfield, Garden State Ballet School , and finally Dance Work Shop in Lyndhurst NJ, these dance programs sparked my passion for dance. my modeling and acting career started at the age of six, I have appeared in numerous commercials, print advertisements, and music videos, such as Verizon, Sprite, Nickelodeon, State Farm, Seventeen, Glamour, and People magazines.
I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Performance and Education at Georgian Court University Lakewood, NJ. I am an advocate for arts education, and love sharing my passion with others. I am the owner of AMB Dance Theater which is housed at the WaterFront Community Center 2 Grafton Avenue Newark, NJ. Teaching jazz, hip-hop, modern, lyrical, contemporary, ballet, West African, and Musical theater. I try to impart my knowledge and wisdom to youngsters, helping them develop their passion for dance. My passion for pageantry started after I competed in my first pageant at the age of 8 and lost. Being bitten by the “Pageant Bug” I tried again and on my third attempt won my first title, Miss New Jersey American Coed Sweetheart 2001. Since then I have been a title holder for many different pageant systems: National American Miss, East Coast USA, Miss Teen of the Nation, America’s Perfect Teen, Miss America local Bergen County, and Miss Black New Jersey USA. Winning the title of Miss New Jersey United States has been a dream come true, representing my state on the national level will be the culmination of many goals come to fruition. I hope I will be the kind of representative New Jersey loves and deserves.
How did you get involved with pageants?
When I was 8 years old a Miss American Coed brochure was sent to my house. My mom asked me if I wanted to try it, so we did. It took three tries, but on the third try I won the title of Miss New Jersey American Coed Sweetheart 2001. That was all it took we were bit by the “pageant bug” and the rest is history
Why did you decide to compete for the title of Miss New Jersey United States?
I had always wanted to compete in the Miss United States System, but they never had a New Jersey state level pageant. When I heard Tina Chisholm was hosting the New Jersey state I took full advantage and signed right up!
When you heard your name called and put on that sash what emotions or thoughts were going through your head?
Excitement, Happiness, a feeling of accomplishment, when you achieve a goal there’s just a feeling of satisfaction, you want to pat yourself on the back and say “Good Job”.
What was the first thing you did after the pageant?
It took us three hours to get out of New York after the pageant, because of all the traffic. But that was ok because I had my homemade quesadillas in the car to eat. So I was in heaven, the security guard at the venue let me heat them up before we left.
What are you looking forward to during your reign?
I want to take full advantage of the Miss New Jersey title and make as many appearances as I can, to promote the Miss United States system and bolster the enrollment.
Tell us about your platform?
My platform is P.E.A.P (Primary Education Arts Program) where I am involved at two charter schools to enhance arts education from grades K-8 to give children a broader development in academic achievement.
I love traveling and exploring new cities across the country. If I were to visit your hometown where would you take me?
First , I would tell you I live in the most exciting city in all of New Jersey, Newark. Then I would take you to our downtown Broad and Market Street’s, this intersection has been here for over 300 years. My town has so much history you wouldn’t be able to see all of it in one visit. We would shop at some of my favorite stores and have lunch in the quaintest café.
What are you looking forward to the most at Miss United States?
I would have to say the stage competitions, I love competing on stage the most and meeting all the other contestants from across the country.
What advice would you give to someone who was going to compete in their very first pageant?
Thinking back to my first pageant, if I had the benefit of advice, I would want to be told to do as much research on the pageant as possible to know what to expect.
Who are your heroes?
I call them Sheroes, my 93 year old Grandmother and my Mom, they are two of the strongest women in my life. They are my biggest cheerleaders, and keep me grounded I don’t know what I would do without them by my side.
What should every woman try at least once in her life?
Take a trip by herself, whether it’s for one day or ten day’s. Every woman should vacation alone at least once in her life.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
It’s more of a quote than advice but it is still words to live by: “The mind is like a parachute it functions best when open”. I think being open minded is the best trait to have because you can accomplish more in life that w
What’s your one biggest pet peeve?
When people eat and chew their food too loudly.
Describe yourself in two words?
Ambitious and Determined
What makes you laugh?
I have to say I have very peculiar sense of humor, I am seriously addicted to internet cat videos, and the one person who can definitely make me laugh is my Mom, we have the same sense of humor.
What item in your closet do you wear the most?
My Nike flip flops, I soon as I get home on they go, I wear them every day.
What is one item you can’t live without?
That would be my laptop, I have so much information on that thing, I wouldn’t be able to function without it.
Follow Alicia on Social Media!
Facebook- Alicia Blanks Miss New Jersey United States