HARLEM SHAKE — Six women are competing for a year's supply of hamburgers, $1000 to the charity of their choice and the right to be called Miss Harlem Shake 2015.
The contestants include lawyers, web designers, models, dancers, and nutritionists. Some are recent transplants to the neighborhood and others were born and raised in Harlem.
And for some this is the first time they have been involved in a pageant.
“It’s something different for me,” said Regine Gilbert. “I’m not one for much attention. People in my life, my friends, my family said, ‘You need to do something out of the box.’”
She signed up on a whim while getting something to eat at the Harlem Shake restaurant, which is hosting the pageant, she said.
The winner will be chosen by popular vote.
People interested in voting can stop by the store, at 100 W. 124th St., and cast their vote until August. The winner will be crowned Sept. 13.
While the contestants would love to get free hamburger for a year, the main prize is a donation to a charity of her choice.
“I’d like people to vote for me because I’d like to see the Children’s Aid Society get the money,” Gilbert said. “I guess part of why I’m doing this is to show girls and other people that there are women of color in tech.”
While some contestants have participated in bigger pageants, like Miss New York USA, most have not done something like this before.
Last week, when the six finalists were chosen from a dozen, pageant hopeful Limore Dooley didn't know what to expect when she walked into the event.
"I was surprised, I was completely intimidated when I saw their pictures," Dooley, 35, said. "They all look like models. But I love it. It has such good energy. I got along with the girls as soon as I met them."
Dooley, a personal trainer and nutritionists, decided to enter the pageants as a way to help Harlem Children's Zone. She has wanted to help the organization since moving to New York six years ago. When she found out the winner gets $1,000 for a charity of her choice, she decided to sign up.
"I want to bring health education to Harlem," she said.
Here are the contestants trying to earn the coveted title:
► Francheska Rivera
Charity: Harlem Hospital
Bio: Rivera is a production assistant and an aspiring photographer who has taken classes at the International Center of Photography. She enjoys yoga, biking, jogging and fashion.
► Alison Mixon
Charity: Children’s Aid Society
Bio: Mixon is a professional dancer who specialized in ballet, contemporary and jazz and graduated from Juilliard. She has performed for Paramount Pictures, Disney, and the Metropolitan Opera. Her favorite shake is the Salted Caramel Shake.
► Kristyan Gilmore
Charity: Harlem Business Alliance
Bio: Gilmore is a Texas-licensed lawyer and graduated from Howard University’s School of Law.
► Limore Dooley
Charity: Harlem Children’s Zone
Bio: Dooley has been promoting healthy eating through her food blog “Healing the Hangry,” since 2005. She is a personal trainer and a nutritionist who wants to bring health education to Harlem by installing roof-top gardens.
► Amanda Mobley
Charity: Church of the Master
Bio: Mobley was born and raised in Harlem. The Miss Harlem Shake Pageant isn’t her first rodeo, she participated in the Miss New York USA Pageant. She also mentors children in her spare time and wants to set an example of how they should put themselves out there and pursue their passion.
►: Regine Gilbert
Charity: Children’s Aid Society
Bio: Gilbert never thought she would enter a pageant but after friends and family encouraged her to “do something out of the box” she decided to join. She helps build websites as a user experience designer and wants to show people that there are women in color in the tech industry.