After numerous talent presentations that included an essay recital, traditional talent, traditional dress and an impromptu question, Lorraine Juan was crowned Miss Salt River 2010. The first runner-up was Ashley Chiago, and the second runner-up was Martha Ludlow-Martinez.
During the pageant, which took place on June 12 at the Community Building, a panel of five judges scored the three young ladies on their poise and performances. The judges were Carla Banuelos, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community assistant community manager; Salt River Police Department Detective Walter Halloway; Lena Jackson-Eckert, Salt River deputy prosecutor; Scottsdale Community College professor Michael Little Crow; and the current Miss Indian Arizona State University, Cheryl Thomas.
Ludlow-Martinez was first up to perform, singing “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. Toward the middle of the song she forgot the lyrics; the crowd chimed in and starting humming along with her, which surprised her for a second and made her forget the words even more. The crowd apologized, and Ludlow-Martinez finished her set.
For her talent, Juan performed the Miley Cyrus song “I Miss You” in remembrance of her grandma.
Chiago sang “Victory in Jesus” and dedicated it to her grandma, who was in the audience. She told the crowd that if they wanted to, they could join in.
In the traditional talent portion, Ludlow-Martinez performed the Pima point dance. Juan performed the Maricopa two-step bird dance. She explained that the dance was for when people traveled at night into the early mornings. Rather than dancing, Chiago showed the crowd how to dye hair traditionally by using black river mud and mesquite gum. She had the crowd laughing when she said it was used to get the a’ac (lice) out.
When Miss Salt River 2009 Jessica Ruiz passed her crown on to Juan, the new winner, she said that her pageant days are not over: Ruiz is competing in the Miss Indian Arizona pageant. She said, “Being Miss Salt River 2009, I learned that you have to give your time for your people if you really want to learn something.” She did her farewell dance and then went through the crowd hugging and thanking everyone.
After their nominations, the young women went right to work to help serve the seniors in the Community Day celebration.
Juan said that she was shocked that she won, and credits her response to her impromptu question about teenage pregnancy. She said the first thing she wants to do as Miss Salt River 2010 is speak with members of the Tribal Council about gangs and graffiti, and see what she can do to help in those matters.