Late last week and early this week, I had the opportunity to interview two “famous people.”

One of my second year courses, News Production, is designed to teach the class the practical side of working in a newsroom. Each week, we pitch our own story ideas pertaining to Kwantlen academic and student life, and submit pieces of journalism, be it in the form of articles, photo stories or videos.

Through a Kwantlen press release, I found out that a Kwantlen student had danced her way to the top 22 on CTV’s So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

With the help of social media, namely Facebook, and being able to contact the right people at the times, I was able to secure an interview with Nathalie Heath, a 23-year-old dancer from Surrey, B.C.

As a semi-regular viewer of the show, it was a great and extremely surreal experience to be able to have a conversation with someone I had seen on TV a couple of days before.

While emailing back and forth with the show’s publicist, I’d asked if there was anyone else affiliated with the show who was willing to comment on Nathalie’s success. Not sure about the show’s policies, I had been hoping for an interview with one of the judges, but wasn’t expecting one.

But I was fortunate enough to snag an interview with Jean Marc Généreux, arguably the show’s most outspoken, heartfelt and enthusiastic judge. Outside of the show, he is an accomplished ballroom dancer: he won all of the major ballroom championships in North America, and danced with his partner as Canada’s first ballroom representatives in 10 world championships.

So while he may not be a common household name, he is a well-respected and well-known individual in certain circles. And I got to interview him.

Both Jean Marc and Nathalie were personable and funny individuals, and I am thankful for the chance to have interviewed them.

To read Nathalie’s story (with quotes from the one and only Jean Marc), check out the Kwantlen Chronicle online.

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@HayleyWoodin

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This weekend was my last pageant as a B.C. Ambassador: in seven days I will be passing on my crown and banner to another deserving individual.

On Friday, I travelled to Penticton with the newly crowned White Rock youth ambassadors and Miss White Rock 2010/2011, my sister, @ChloeWoodin.

My mom chaperoned us, and we met up with my other two ambassadors in the city of peaches and beaches.

The gala was lovely, and the 14 Miss Penticton candidates all did a great job. As usual, the visiting royalty had the opportunity to bring their greetings on stage.

Saturday morning we rode in the Peachfest parade, and spent the afternoon mini-golfing and go-karting before attending the royalty ball that evening.

This weekend was special not only because my sister and I both got to go to a pageant together as sparkleheads, but also because the Penticton pageant was my first out-of-town experience as Miss White Rock 2008, and my last as a B.C. Ambassador.

It has been a full two years, coming full circle. And although I will miss being an ambassador, I am looking forward to temporarily retiring from the public eye.

Final stop, Merritt on Wednesday, the beginning of the end.

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@HayleyWoodin

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