‘Just go for it’: FHSD 7th grader competes in national competition as Miss Preteen Missouri

Posted on 12/08/2021
Nicole Knop



Nicole Knop, a 7th grader at Barnwell Middle School, spent her Thanksgiving Break in a way she will never forget. She traveled to Orlando, Florida to compete in the National American Miss Preteen Competition.

Knop joined the world of pageantry at a very young age. She has been dancing since she could walk and competed in her first pageant when she was only five.

She quickly fell in love with being on stage and performing. 

When 12-year-old, Nicole, isn’t competing in a pageant – you can find her dancing, hanging with friends, or studying her favorite subject.

“I like math. Especially on my dad’s side, we have a lot of mathematicians so I’m following in their footsteps a little. It just comes easier to me than other subjects.”

Dr. Erin Thurston, a Barnwell Middle School principal, is happy her student had the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving Break traveling with family.

“Nicole is beautiful inside and out. I am not at all surprised by her successes; she is an inspiration to us all. We are so lucky to call her a Bulldog.”

Knop says she enjoys going to school.

“I love how Barnwell Middle is welcoming to everyone. It’s a really good environment. Especially because there are a lot of fun groups so there are a lot of friends to go around,” Knop said.

Knop met a lot of her friends by participating in pageants. Hundreds of young girls from all over the world competed for the title of National American Miss Preteen.

“Since it is national and international we got to meet people from all across the country that we wouldn’t have been able to before.”

While walking on stage in an oversized ball gown and performing in front of a cheering crowd was exciting, Knop says the most fulfilling part of pageantry is giving back.

“My platform is Create Kindness. It’s all about doing simple acts of kindness. This year I created a princess dance camp. So it helps kids that couldn’t mentally or physically come to a dance studio.”

The princess dance camp is a free 30-minute program. Knop volunteers her time each Sunday so that every child can experience dance, no matter their ability or financial situation.

Helping others and getting involved in pageants has given Nicole a lot of confidence. She hopes to inspire other young people.

“Just be yourself. Just go for it,” Knop said with a big smile.

To learn more about princess dance camp you can reach out to Nicole by visiting her Instagram page.
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