By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
At age two, Layla June Peavey has been a tiny queen of the toddler pageant circuit for over half her life. At the tender age of ten months, she was on a Madison stage in her very first pageant, “Miss Winter Wonderland,” and won the title for her age division. That was about thirteen or fourteen months ago, Layla’s mother, Dana Peavey, recalls.
Earlier this week, Layla was featured in a video clip on “Good Morning America,” holding her father’s hand as she walked across the stage.
In between, Layla has been steadily collecting tiaras, titles and trophies, including “Teeny Miss Autumn Apple” and “Teeny Miss Florida Capital City” for 2010. For 2011, she has been “Teeny Miss Snowflake Queen,” “Teeny Miss Think Pink” and “Teeny Miss Pearl of the Panhandle.”
“My cousin Danielle (Rucker) was the (“Miss Winter Wonderland”) pageant director and she talked us into it,” said Dana of that very first pageant appearance. “If we hadn’t done it, we would have never known Layla would be so good at it.”
For her second pageant conquest, Layla competed in the “Miss Madison County” pageant and won for her age division. That was the very first time she got to ride in a parade; it was Madison’s “Down Home Days” celebration. The next year, she again won in her age division for “Miss Madison County.”
“The older she got, the more she started really enjoying it,” said Dana. “Now it’s almost second nature. Every weekend she asks, ‘do we have a pageant?’ She loves dressing up and getting on stage and being the center of attention.”
Dana believes her daughter gets her stage presence and love of performing from her father, professional musician Jonathan Peavey. Peavey was a guitarist in a couple of very successful bands and now he is well known as the “Ragin’ Cajun” guitarist of Lake Park, and “anywhere else he can get a gig,” said Dana.
As for daughter Layla, “she takes after her daddy onstage,” doing her thing and blowing kisses to the audience.
Wednesday morning, June 1, when “Good Morning America” featured a video segment from the TLC documentary series “Toddlers in Tiaras,” Layla was in several clips.
The segment was shot about six or seven months ago in Valdosta, where Layla was competing in the “Miss Sugar Plum Fairy” pageant. “Toddlers in Tiaras” chooses families in the pageant circuit to feature on their program, and at the Valdosta pageant, they were doing a story on fathers who are very involved in their daughters’ pageants. Dana recalls having to sign waivers to allow TLC to air the footage on the show, but in the intervening months, she had forgotten about it.
“It was a complete shock to us,” said Dana, after hearing about the “Good Morning America” segment just hours earlier from friends on Facebook. “We had no idea. We haven’t even had a chance to watch it yet!”
Local Toddler Featured On “Good Morning America”
By Lynette Norris