Miss Hawaii 2007, Ashley Layfield

(KHNL) - On Friday night, a new Miss Hawaii was crowned. Ashley Layfield beat out 13 other contestants  to become Miss Hawaii.  She joins us to talk about her journey.

MARY:  Good morning.

ASHLEY: Good morning.

MARY:   Congratulations.

MARY: Thank you so much.

MARY: Tell me a little bit about the competition and just getting to this point.

MARY:  Well as far as the Miss Hawaii pageant goes, there are preliminary pageants that you have to earn.  The contestants have to earn local titles.  So I have to compete for a local title and that was for Miss Kalaha pageant and I won that.   And then I went on to compete for the Miss Hawaii pageant and that was a truly great experience.

MARY: And you had a little bit of a rough start, and your dancing background really helped you.  Tell me about what happened.

MARY: (laughs) Well, my first couple of steps on stage, I tripped and tumbled but fortunately, nobody saw that and with my performing arts background, I just picked myself right back up and pretended like nothing happened and moved on.

MARY: Now, tell me a little bit about your dancing background.

MARY: I've been dancing since I was in second grade and so this is something that has been a part of my life forever. I was a Rainbow dancer at UH and a dancer at 24/7 Dance Floors so it's always something that's been a part of my life.

MARY: We're watching you now as you were getting crowned, what was going through your mind as you were crowned?

MARY: Well, the first thing that came to my mind was just absolutely enthusiasm, it felt like crossing the finish line of a race, and I was overwhelmed with joy.  I felt so thankful for everybody who had helped me get to that point.

MARY: What emotions did you have at that very moment?

MARY: Just pure joy, I can't explain it other than that I just felt so happy and so accomplished that I could finally reach my dream.

MARY: Now you've been dancing for quite some time, but you say that even though you're a graceful dancer, in real life, you're kind of a klutz, tell me about that.

MARY: (laughs) I like to say that I'm real.  I'm pretty much a real person. I'm the type of person to trip every once in a while and take a tumble and that's who I am.  Everybody has their little flaws and it makes me who I am.

MARY: And you're going to the University of Hawaii, what are you studying?

MARY:  I'm currently an arts student.  I'm studying graphics design and that's something that's become a passion of mine in recent years so I'm really excited to be pursuing that.

MARY:  And you were raised by a single parent, your mother has been a very strong influence over your life, tell me about how she has helped you to become a strong woman.

MARY:  She has always instilled in me to be strong, independent and to able to take care of yourself cause you'll never know what will happen in life so that's something I appreciate in her and I look up to her in that aspect.

MARY: You're gonna be busy in the next couple of months, tell me about your schedule until the Miss America pageant in January.

MARY:  I'll be doing a lot of community services work which I'm really excited to do.  I'll be promoting my platform which is promoting performing arts so that's something that I'm really excited to be doing.

MARY:  Thank you for joining us and congratulations again.

ASHLEY:  Thank you very much.