The atmosphere of a pageant feels like a home away from home for Olivia Kapron. She’d been waiting for this moment — her time to shine on the stage. Sporting a Minnie Mouse outfit, Olivia steps in front of the judges with confidence in her Florida-themed pageant outfit.
Olivia smiles, blows a kiss to the judges and turns.
She carries herself like a beauty queen — and she’s only 2 years old.
Olivia, a Windermere resident, recently was crowned Baby Miss Florida 2019 back in May and continues to compete in pageants in Florida and beyond.
Her statewide title was part of the America’s Little Miss Pageant, where girls are recognized for showcasing their talents and personalities — with a focus on inner beauty.
Baby Miss Florida 2019 is just one of several titles Olivia already has under her belt. She was also named Baby Miss St. Cloud earlier this year and was named Beauty Supreme and Overall Most Beautiful at the Little Miss Inspirational Pageant last month in Minnesota.
“She goes to school every day, but then on the weekends she just transforms into this sequin-wearing, rhinestone-loving with feathers beauty queen,” said Nicole Kapron, Olivia’s mother. “She’s shy, but then on stage she just absolutely shines.”
As a performer and dancer herself, Nicole Kapron said she noticed something special in her daughter: a natural love and ability to capture the attention of an audience.
“When she was born it was natural for her in a sense — she lovedmusic, she can find the beat,” Nicole Kapron said. “She was already displaying having natural ability from a very young age. From her love of music and dancing, I knew that she was ready to kind of start that journey being so young.”
Nicole Kapron decided earlier this year to put her daughter in a pageant just to see how she’d do. Olivia, at 17 months old, was entered into the Baby Hearts Rodeo Pageant in Osceola County back in February and ended up wowing the judges.
“She just went up there and she shined,” Nicole Kapron said. “She waved, she smiled and I knew that this was the light and the direction that we needed to head in with her. When you have a kiddo that can grab the audience being 17 months old at that time and then seeing what she can do at 2, she just steals everyone’s hearts on stage.”
Since that first pageant, Olivia has participated in five other pageants, including the Sunburst Beauty Pageant and the Little Miss Inspirational Pageant.
It isn’t all glitz and glamour on the pageant stage though — it’s lots of practice and sometimes pressure on the stage, Nicole Kapron said.
“I go up on stage and I give her little cues like ‘Wave at the judges’ and ‘Can you blow kisses?’” Nicole Kapron said. “Most of the time she’ll do it. Sometimes she doesn’t and that’s OK.”
“She gets off stage, and she gets big hugs and kisses for going up,” she said. “You have all eyes on you, you’re not just going up in front of a panel of judges, you’re going up with an audience filled with people and she’s doing it at 2 years old. I can’t be more proud of her doing that. It’s about building her self-esteem.”
Olivia has two more pageants lined up in the near future: the Sunburst Miss Merry Christmas Pageant in November in Ocala and the Once Upon a Fairy Tale Pageant in February in Georgia.
Olivia dreams that one day she’ll audition and appear on “Sesame Street” — her favorite show.
At the end of the day, Nicole Kapron said that it’s her daughter being herself that makes her so successful.
“You let her be her, and I think that’s what makes her shine —it’s because she’s Olivia and I let her be Olivia on stage,” Nicole Kapron said.