by Sonya Barrett
Aug 04, 2012
(PHOTOS BY LEIGH THOMPSON)
Talking with Alicia Clifton one on one, you might never guess she’s the reigning Miss Oklahoma.
Before our “official” interview, Alicia talked to me about her life as a college student.
“I haven’t got to do a whole lot in there yet. When I go back again, I’ll have more time to just be a regular student,” she said. “Hopefully I can get more get involved.”
Being involved is something Alicia is not stranger to. Not only does this young woman carry the Miss Oklahoma title, the tap dancing queen also holds a Guinness Record for 36 consecutive Pirouettes and for the most Fouettes a la Seconde in 30 seconds.
“It’s an interesting, random fact,” she said, shyly commenting on her record achievements. “I’ve been able do a lot of cool things with it and it’s opened up a lot of opportunities.”
Alicia has experienced much due to her quirky talent. The twenty-year-old’s dancing ability has even been celebrated in national talk shows, including “The Ellen Show”and “Regis and Kelly.” However, she remains modest. During our interview, it was easy to see it’s Alicia’s work ethic and positive attitude that opened those doors of opportunity, not the spinning record.
“You never know until you try,” she told me. “ I never thought I would be here, but I tried, I worked hard, and I stayed dedicated my whole life. That’s what got me here.”
But, standing out isn’t just for beauty queens. It’s something everyone can do according to Alicia. She adds, “Anybody can do the same thing I did… it’s just about getting out there and having the courage.”
And that’s the message she would like to share as Miss Oklahoma. As her year with the title moves forward, Alicia said she wants to inspire as many people as she can to believe in making a difference. An easy way to do so: Volunteer.
“I want to inspire as many people as I can to volunteer,” Alicia said. “There’s so many ways people can volunteer, but I think they don’t even realize it. They just have to go out and do it.”
Her advice for those wanting to make a change is simple: Just tap into volunteerism.
“TAP stands for time, action, and passion. You have to have the time to volunteer, you have to be willing to take action and not procrastinate, and you have to find something you’re passionate about,” she said about her platform. “It has to be something you want to do, so you can volunteer time and time again.”
Alicia feels that way because “I’ve been very blessed with my health and my ability to dance, so why not use that? Why not use the crown…and do as much as I can with it to help other people and show them that they can help as well,” she said
The current title-holder mentioned it was, after all, the Miss Oklahoma crown that inspired her to make a difference.
“The very first time I watched Miss America was when Shawntel Smith won and she was Miss Oklahoma. I made the connection that she was from Oklahoma and I was from Oklahoma, so I said this is something that I want to do I started as soon as I could when I was 13 years old.”
Keeping that goal in mind is what keeps Alicia motivated in her journey through Miss Oklahoma.
“I think just knowing the job of Miss Oklahoma is a 36-day-a-year job,” she said,
“you’re always having to do something. And you only get to be Miss Oklahoma once, so why not live it to the fullest and try to be the best Miss Oklahoma you can be?”
So for the next year, it looks like Alicia will strive her hardest be the best Miss Oklahoma she can be. But she’s open to expanding her jurisdiction.
In a senior yearbook quote, Alicia said she aspired to take her work to a national level.
“My statement was I’m going to be Miss America. I don’t know why I said it, I just did. I guess we’ll find out this January if it’s true or not.”
With that goal in mind, Alicia said she’s just fine with the Miss Oklahoma gig for now.
“It’s pretty cool,” she said about the new job.
Spoken like a true twenty-year-old.