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When one reign ends, another one begins. At the 2016 Miss Vietnam Florida pageant, a UCF student became the next reigning queen. Ngoc- Anh Van was crowned the 2016 Miss Vietnam Florida on Sunday, Feb. 7, at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.

As the next Miss Vietnam Florida, Ngoc- Anh Van will have certain responsibilities and duties, such as being a contestant coordinator for next year’s pageant and attending events to support the community.

“I did this pageant to get more involved with my culture and the Vietnamese community,” said Ngoc-Anh Van, a junior health sciences major. “Also, getting to know the other girls was a great experience.”

The 14 women are judged by past queens and sponsors in four categories that are worth 25 points each: traditional dress (ao dai), evening dress, a question round and a performance of their talent. The questions can be answered in either Vietnamese or English.

Ngoc-Anh Van sang “Hallelujah” by Alexandra Burke as part of her talent.

“I’m catholic and wanted to do something to show that this is something that is important that represents me,” Ngoc-Anh Van said.

Other contestants painted, played instruments and danced. Contestant No. 5, 24-year-old UCF hospitality management major Than Tam Pham, performed a cha-cha and jazz routine.

“I’ve danced my whole life, and I am a professional dancer with the AFL Dance Team in Orlando,” Than Tam Pham said.

There was one queen and four runners-up. The runners-up were contestant No. 10 Michelle Le, No. 14 Lili Le, No. 13 Danh Duy Bao Ngoc, and No. 5 Thanh Tam Pham.

Also, for the first time this year, five new awards were given out: Miss Photogenic, Miss Talent, Miss Congeniality, Miss Ao Dai and Miss Philanthropy. The  winners of the new award criteria were No. 13 Danh Duy Bao Ngoc, No. 10 Michelle Le, No. 7 Lily Nguyen, No .6 Ngoc-Anh and No. 3 Hoang Anh Doan Pham.

Ngoc-Anh Van, along with 13 other young Vietnamese-American women, took to the stage after spending the past two months preparing for the pageant.

Last year’s Queen Nhatvy Vo, a UCF health science alumna, helped coached this year’s contestants as part of her duties.

“Since Dec. 15, they have been working hard to practice their posing and walking,” Nhatvy Vo said.

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Alahna Kindred is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future. 

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