There’s a saying: “A crown does not make a queen.” Rather, it’s her nature: if she’s willing to help others, is graceful, has a humble, kind and genuine spirit, then she is regal, for these are the qualities (some) that make a queen.
Chancy Fontenelle has it all. Sweet in nature, and easily likeable, this Carnival Queen began her pageantry journey at eighteen.
In 2015 the beauty auditioned for the Queen of Gros Islet Pageant. Later she would walk away with the first runner up title at the main event.
“I was living in Gros Isletas I was a student at the International School of Saint Luciaand then Queen of Gros Islet,Racquel John, pushed me in that direction,” Chancy, now 21, said in an interview with YO on Monday.
“She has always done well in pageantry and was the leader of our dance group at the time (‘Untitled 51’) and I really admired her. I wanted to improve my public speaking, as I was never good at it because of my shy nature, so I asked for her help,” Chancy said.
Racquel suggested pageantry which Chancy rejected at first. She eventually embraced the idea, and auditioned for the pageant.
“This pageant probably taught me the most things about pageantry and I went into it green, not knowing anything. It really moulds you into a pageant girl because director Janice Dupal knows her craft so well,” the young queen said appreciatively.
In 2017, she would move on to the big league: the National Carnival Queen Pageant.
Unlike her fellow competitors, Chancy entered the audition alone, admitting that she started doubting herself when she realized that she was the only one without a chaperone.
She was also sick that day. Still, she pushed through.
“They called us out by numbers and I was number four. I used everything that I learned from the previous pageant and applied it there and when I got the call telling me that I made it, I was ecstatic,” Chancy said.
She had a strong team behind her and Chancy was grateful for that.
“I actually thought I had a chance of winning only because my team was exceptional. I had Patricia Calderon as my chaperone, Trevor King as my talent coordinator, Lovely St. Aime Joseph as my interview coach and ‘Bachelor’ (Jason Joseph) as my vocal coach. They have great reputations when it comes to pageantry and of course my mom was my biggest supporter,” she said, adding that still, she was not overly confident, as pageants could be very unpredictable.
“I didn’t want to count all my eggs before they hatched, because so many things could have gone wrongon that night which could have changed my fate,” she said.
Although her reign as Carnival Queen is coming to an end, her journey has just begun.
“Since I’ve been crowned I started to look at my life differently and started to make new career choices that I didn’t think about before,” Chancy shared.
She continued: “I have visited a number of schools including my alma maters Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary School (LHCSS), the International School of Saint Lucia (ISSL) and Babonneau Secondary School (BSS). I will also be visiting various primary schools as well.”
According to Chancy, inspiring and connecting with youth is one thing she enjoys and she hopes to impact the lives of young persons in a positive way.
“I discussed a number of topics during my visits including being pro-active and taking advantage of the opportunities that are available now. When I attended LHCSS, I took advantage of most of the opportunities there and even received various awards. These opportunities helped build me into who I am today,” she said.
Chancy has also done a number of charitable acts and intends to give back to her island as much as she can.
“One of my long term goals is to help build the arts in Saint Lucia. I hope to design a dance studio someday because there are not many facilities for dance here and if I can design a building where the dancers can get nurtured andget proper equipment,then the future generation of dancers can better themselves,” Chancy, an aspiring architect said.
Also a singer, Chancy, daughter to local calypsonian ‘Tricky’, will release her debut single ‘Come Close’ (a ‘Tropical House’ song) in the near future. She hopes to pursue medicine as well.
In July, the young Saint Lucian will represent the island in Antigua at the Miss Jaycees Pageant.
Most importantly, she wants others to know that they can reach for the ‘impossible’.
“When I did the Queen of Gros Islet pageant, someone suggested that I focus on one talent rather than two (singing and dancing). I don’t think she meant it in a bad way, but I let her know that I could do both. I won the award for Best Talent and decided to do it again for the National Carnival Queen Pageant and won again in that category. That’s what I want others to see: you don’t have to limit yourself. Anything you put your mind to you can achieve it,” she said.