Teaching a child to walk in a beauty pageant can seem difficult, especially if you've had limited pageant exposure. Some people hire a pageant coach but the pageant walk can easily be taught without hiring help. Become familiar with stage layouts and what's expected of contestants by watching videos of children who've competed. Show your child that walking in a pageant can be an enjoyable and exhilarating experience that boosts her confidence while letting her personality shine.
Make a diagram to show the layout of the stage on a piece of paper. Stages are typically marked with tape to show specific points where the child should stop and show her personality with a kiss or wave. Then have your child walk the routine several times so she gets comfortable with it.
Double-check that your child has the basics of the routine down. Memorizing the steps is important to the child becoming comfortable on stage. Approach the topic of personality and confidence after your child can walk the routine very well.
Demonstrate that showing personality is important to the pageant walk. Have your child walk in front of a mirror so she can see how to walk with personality. For instance, ask your child to give genuine smiles and waves that express who she is while she walks.
Show that confidence is important to your child's walk. Some children are nervous to go onstage alone in front of strangers. Have your child begin introducing herself to people -- your bank teller and grocery clerk, for example -- whom she typically doesn't talk to; this will help her get more comfortable with being outgoing.
Encourage the child to enjoy herself while walking so she can remember to give a big, genuine smile. Pageants should be an enjoyable experience for a child so smiles should come naturally and be unforced. Permit your child to have breaks and naps when needed so she can give practice her all.
Toddlers learn to smile when walking by having a parent stand by them onstage waving and making goofy faces. Children four and older go onstage alone but you can still wave and encourage smiles from the sidelines.
Pushing your child too hard to get the walk down can take the fun out of her pageant experience. Permitting your child to really enjoy walking is important because judges can often tell when a child is upset about being there.