Miss Czech-Slovak US 2012-13
Jennifer Salva was crowned Miss Czech-Slovak US 2012-2013 at the National Miss Czech-Slovak Pageant last Sunday. She represented the State of Kansas as the 2011 Miss Kansas Czech-Slovak Queen. Jennifer was born in Sugar Creek, MO to Gary Salva and Peggy O’Reagan-Salva, who currently live in Olathe, Kansas. She currently attends the University of Kansas, working toward her bachelor’s degrees in journalism and film media studies. “I feel very fortunate to have been exposed to my Slovak heritage from a very early age,” Jennifer says. “I began dancing with the Sugar Creek Kolo Kids when I was five, and the Sugar Creek Ethnic Dance Troupe at the age of 12. Music and dance are one of the best ways to celebrate the Czech and Slovak cultures!” Jennifer was proud to receive awards for oratory and authentic kroj (costume) presentation at the national pageant. She is excited to attend Czech and Slovak festivals throughout the United States during her reign, beginning at the Kansas City Ethnic Enrichment Festival in August where she will model her kroj in the All-Country Fashion Show. “I am excited to travel again to the Czech Republic and Slovakia, attend festivals, and work with representatives of the Czech and Slovak Republics; but what I am most excited for are the personal connections I hope to make while discussing, embracing and celebrating this unique heritage”.
With the long winter months soon behind us, I am looking forward to the busy Czech and Slovak spring festival season! I am excited to begin this year’s festivities with a performance with my dance troupe, The Sugar Creek Ethnic Dance Troupe. We will be performing for the Independence Knife & Fork Club on March 1st at the Community of Christ Auditorium Independence banquet hall.
I can’t wait to meet the beautiful young ladies competing for Miss Czech-Slovak state titles as I travel to the Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin state pageants. I will also be traveling to the American Czech Educational Center in St. Louis in April, and Washington D.C. to represent the Miss Czech-Slovak US pageant at the Czech Embassy Open House on May 11th and 12th.
In the meantime, I have been collaborating with Slovak documentary filmmaker Ivo Brachtl on my work in the University of Kansas School of Film. In my film studies course “History of the International Sound Film Post-1950,” I am focusing my studies on films created by Czech filmmakers at home and abroad. I am thankful to continue my education of the Czech and Slovak republics through scholarly articles I am currently working on for my degree. I believe this is exactly what the Miss Czech-Slovak US pageant encourages young women to do: embrace the Czech and Slovak cultures in everyday life through individual passions and interests!
Spring 2013 Update: