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Richard Noone, Central Coast Gosford Express Advocate
July 19, 2017 2:32am
LONG-legged Avoca Beach stunner Eliza Gray is still jumping with joy after dancing her way into the top 10 of Australia’s longest running beauty pageant.
The 22-year-old brunette was one of five NSW contestants to make the finals of the Miss World Australia competition where she won the talent category with a contemporary dance routine she pulled together in just three weeks.
Miss World Australia finalist Eliza Gray
Pictures: Sue Graham
“As an experience I loved it,” she said.
“I went in to it with an open mind and an open heart. I did put a bit of pressure on myself to perform, so I sort of treated it as a dance eisteddfod.”
Having grown up on the Central Coast the aspiring model has spent the past three years studying dance at the prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) where she graduated in November.
Back on the Coast Ms Gray has started a personal training business between modelling shoots.
Miss Australia finalist Eliza Gray 22 at Avoca Beach. Eliza finished in the top 10 and won the talent section at the Miss Australia pageant in Melbourne.pic Sue Graham
“I’m working with young women and building their body confidence,” she said.
“Social media can be quite confronting for young women when they see all these beautiful people and a lot of girls are struggling with their body image. That’s my goal to empower them.”
Being comfortable in her own skin was an attitude she took into her first beauty pageant where her win in the talent category propelled her automatically into the top 10 of 28 finalists from across the country.
Ms Gray said self confidence was the most attractive feature in anyone.
Ms Gray is back on the Coast.
Pictures: Sue Graham
“In the end if they didn’t like me, they didn’t like me and that mentality put me in a good position,” she said.
“I’m just this Central Coast girl, a PT (personal trainer) and a dancer. You are who you are, the best version of you is the most confident.”
Ms Gray said the Miss World Australia pageant held at Melbourne’s Grand Hyatt last Friday was unlike anything she had ever done.
In the final on Friday.
“Whatever the outcome was, I would have been proud,” she said.
“I’m so humbled, it’s got me a lot of exposure and confidence. All the other girls were really genuine which is not really what I would expect.”
The pageant was eventually won by Melbourne criminal profiler Esma Voloder, 25, who shared her remarkable backstory of escaping a refugee camp in war-torn Bosnia more than two decades ago.
Relaxing with a bit of yoga at the beach. Picture: Instagram
Ms Voloder, who took home the $68,000 pearl-encrusted crown, is a seasoned pageant competitor and Ms Gray said she had learned a lot.
Asked if she would enter another beauty pageant Ms Gray said “I think so”.
In the meantime she’s working on building her Instagram following under the handle “Simplylize” between personal training and modelling.
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