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‘Miss Brooklyn’ looks to take the next step

Before Miss Brooklyn Keelie Sheridan goes off to compete in the Miss New York scholarship pageant later this month, she’s getting some help from her “dream team” of local sponsors, who have been providing the beauty with everything from fitness training to headshots to getting her primped and primed for the pageant.

“It’s really amazing how the community has come together to help me get ready for Miss New York,” said Sheridan, 23, a student at Empire State College studying English and theater. “I pretty much have a sponsor for everything.”

That includes yoga at Bikram Bay Ridge Yoga and Bend and Bloom in Park Slope, headshots at Bond Street Studio by local photographer David Gardner Garcia, tanning at Pacific Tanning Salon in Park Slope, teeth whitening from Bensonhurst Dental, and kettlebell training from fitness trainer Ellen Stein.

“I’m her secret weapon,” said Stein, a Brooklyn native from the Midwood area who has been whipping Sheridan into shape for the swimsuit portion of the evening through kettlebell lifting, exercises with a Russian cast iron weight that work cardio and strength building. ”Hopefully she’ll be Miss New York if I have anything to do with it.”

Sheridan has also been busy working on her talent – Irish step dancing – as well as her personal platform, which may come up in the interview portion of the competition. An advocate for performance art in schools, Sheridan’s platform promotes opportunities for underprivileged children.

Last year’s Miss Brooklyn, Leigh−Taylor Smith, went on to win at the state competition, so Miss Brooklyn Executive Director Kimberly Thomas can’t help but have high hopes for this year’s.

“I’m expecting great results,” said Thomas, who brought the pageant back to Brooklyn last year after a 16−year hiatus. “I don’t want to sound cocky, but last year was our first year and we won. We’re really good about getting our girls ready.”

With Sheridan competing in her second Miss New York competition (last year the Manhattan Beach resident represented Montgomery and Fulton counties in upstate New York, where she grew up), that also bodes well for Brooklyn. The winner of Miss New York then goes on to vie for Miss America.

Sheridan will compete for that crown during the last weekend in June in Albany (also representing Brooklyn will be Melanie Gowrie, a Manhattan resident crowned Miss Brooklyn’s Outstanding Teen during February’s Miss Brooklyn pageant, a competition open to city−wide teens.). Before she leaves, you can wish Miss Brooklyn good luck during a meet and greet on June 13 in Park Slope, with waffles and dinges on the menu as well.

There will also be a Miss Brooklyn send−off party at Club Nocturnal on June 10, where you can get a sneak peek at her competition wardrobe, talent performance and platform presentation, as well as meet the Brooklyn−based sponsors who have lent their services for the cause.

“People have really come on board to help me prepare,” said Sheridan. “I feel a lot more confident going into the competition having all this extra support.”

The Miss Brooklyn Send Off Party is June 10 at Club Nocturnal (1623 Flatbush Ave.) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $20, including d’oeuvres, entertainment, and cash bar. To RSVP, e−mail missbrooklynmao@aol.com.

For more information, including the start time for the June 13 meet−and−greet, held at Seventh Avenue and Carroll Street, go to www.brooklynqueens.org or call 313−492−0946.

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