Recently I have had an opportunity to become acquainted with an amazing woman. The problem is… looking at Miss Janet Murphy, you don’t really know how amazing she is!. Well, that all changed on Martin Luther King Day 2014. You see, Janet is an extremely selfless hard working woman, and saw a recent photo of herself and realized she didn’t recognize the woman she saw. She felt a bit pale and well… tired… and why wouldn’t she be. Here’s why!
Janet became a Rockette performing at Radio City Music Hall in New York City at the age of 20. She was chosen as a Rockette the very first time she tried out , which she later found out rarely happens. Janet is still involved in the Rockette Alumni Association and often travels to NYC to meet with her former dance members. When she was a teen she rarely attended school functions or dances because she was always practicing. She said she would often do 1000 kicks per day!
After Janet finished performing with the Rockettes she went south and performed at Walt Disney World. Janet was an only child, born in Utica New York, and was very close to her mother. Janet’s mom would take her to see the Rockettes perform in NYC. They also attended the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City each year. About 15 years ago, Janet’s mother took on the task of being the local executive director to the Miss America Preliminary Scholarship Competition. Janet’s mother was struck with cancer the year that her first local competition was to take place. Janet took on ALL the duties that would have been her mother’s. Although, Janet’s mother attended the pageant she died just a few weeks later. Today, Janet, who never had any children of her own, carries on her mother’s dream and oversees 3 Miss and 3 Outstanding Teen competitors who go on to compete in the Miss New York America Competition and Miss New York Outstanding Teen Competition hoping to win scholarship money to attend college or fulfill their own dreams. Some of her girls have even won full college scholarships all together.
We talked a lot that Martin Luther King day about all the girls she has met and helped and still maintains relationships with to this day. She could recall their talents, the years they competed, the dresses they wore and all their now children’s names!!! She told me about driving, sometimes alone, to Florida year after year to show support to her “teen girls” competing there. And how happy she was that the Miss America Pageant was back in Atlantic City where she and her mother attended 17 years in a row!
Janet also teaches 28 dance classes per week, from toddlers to senior citizens all around the capital district. Her seniors have been asked to perform all over the east coast! And as if that wasn’t enough, she is also an assistant manager at Christopher and Banks retail women’s specialty store in Colonie Center. Why does Janet do all this. To keep her mother’s dream and the dream of young girls alive!
So now you know why Janet was looking a bit pale and tired in the photo. What I didn’t tell you was that the photo was taken because Janet found out that she had been awarded an honor from her job at Christopher and Banks for her commitment to the company, her customer service and her outstanding productivity in the entire northeast region, and her picture would be appearing on the company website! So when a mutual friend of ours heard that Janet somehow had a day off on that chilly Monday, she asked me to squeeze her in for a day of beauty. I couldn’t say no!
Janet’s next annual competition will be held on March 1st, at the Edison Club, in Clifton Park. She plans on having 15-20 girls from all over the state competing for 3 titles to attend the Miss New York America competition in May. Check out Janet’s facebook page
or email her at [email protected]
feel free to message her with any entry inquiries, donations or questions. If she doesn’t get back to you right away I’m sure you’ll understand why and plan on seeing a new Janet there that day!