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SIOUX CITY | Flashing some polished fingernails while decked out in some brand-new high-tops, Calli Jeffords, 20, was showing off some smooth dance moves to a recording of Meghan Trainor's "Me Too."

"I love getting dressed up and having my nails done!" she said. "This is so much fun!"

Jeffords, of Sioux City, is one of the 19 young women involved in the Sassy Steppers dance troupe.

Holding a final rehearsal for family and friends Wednesday at Redeemer Lutheran Church, they will be performing a routine during the Miss Amazing Pageant being held Friday and Saturday at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

According to Mid-Step Services residential services director Nancy Mullally, this is the third year that the Sassy Steppers danced at Miss Amazing, a pageant that provides opportunities for girls and women with disabilities to build confidence and self-esteem in a supportive environment.

"This is the second year in a row that Calli has been a Sassy Stepper," Mullally mentioned. "Do you remember how nervous you were last year, Calli?"

"Yeah, I was scared to death," Jeffords, an employee at Goodwill of the Great Plains, said. "Now I know what to expect."

Like Jeffords, Elyse Tibbe, 33, of Sioux City, performed as a Sassy Steppers at last year's Miss Amazing Pageant.

"I made so many new friends," Tibbe, a McDonald's employee, said. "Making friends is what I liked best about (Miss Amazing)."

Well, that and getting her hair and nails done. Plus receiving a crown is pretty nice, too.

"Everybody who participates becomes a princess," Mullally said. "And who knows? One of these girls may become a queen."

As the Sassy Steppers rehearse their dance number, Mullally can't help but smile.

"Last year, Elyse and Calli were terrified at the thought of dancing," she said. "Now, they're mentoring the newer members."

"It's wonderful seeing their confidence grow over time," Mullally added. 

Grinning from ear to ear, Tibbe sashayed to the beat of the music.

"I may be nervous when we begin (the routine)," she predicted. "But I'll be with my friends and things will be OK."


Food and Lifestyles reporter

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