Local child competed in Next Direct modeling contest

Violet Balestrieri of Grand Junction competed in the 2010 Next Direct Modeling Competition last weekend in Los Angeles.

Violet Balestrieri could easily be described as the little all-American girl next door with her long blonde hair and her strikingly blue eyes.

That’s why her mother Kirrily entered her as a contestant in the Next Direct 2010 Children’s Model competition.

Next Direct is a popular British brand that partnered with Wilhelmina Models to find an all-American face to feature as the next “it” boy or girl for the children’s division, Wilhelmina Kids.

Violet was among the top 50 children chosen by online voting at Facebook.com last month.

“She got tons of votes but the farther it went along it just got harder and harder,” Kirrily said.

Violet and her mother were among the lucky few to win a trip to Los Angeles last weekend to compete in the competition finals at Universal Studios.

“I just really wanted to win the holiday for me and my daughter,” Kirrily said, although she did have some hopes that Violet would win the $100,000 college fund and the modeling contract.

“Really it was just a fun vacation for her,” she said.

In Los Angeles, Violet were treated to a personal stylist followed by a professional photo shoot. Then she learned hip-hop dance moves from famed instructors from New York and the United Kingdom.

“They worked them pretty hard but she was a real trooper,” Kirrily said.

The children were treated to the full Hollywood experience during the final competition complete with a walk on the red carpet in the Globe Theater.

But, the highlight of the trip for Violet wasn’t the fancy dresses or make-up, it was meeting her favorite cartoon character, Spongebob Squarepants.

“She didn’t even really know it was a contest,” Kirrily said, “she was happy to get new stuffies and eat cotton candy.”

Although Violet does model for high-end boutique in Britian, she was not chosen as the next Wilhelmina model. She did receive a $150 gift certificate to shop Next Direct and other prizes.

That’s okay with her mother Kirrily who said getting to enjoy the experience with her daughter was enough.






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