W. Richland woman Halle Goodwin to vie for Miss Washington on Friday, Saturday

Halle Goodwin hopes to make it two for two when she competes next week for the title of Miss Washington.

The West Richland teen won the first pageant she ever entered -- last summer, when she was crowned Miss Tri-Cities.

On Friday and Saturday, she'll represent the Mid-Columbia when she competes in Burien, hoping to take home the state crown too.

"This will only be her second pageant," said Dot Stewart, executive director for the Miss Tri-Cities Scholarship Program. "It's really unusual for a young lady to win the first pageant they enter, but she did it."

Goodwin, who turned 20 on Sunday, has been perfecting her tap dance routine since last summer's Miss Tri-Cities competition.

"I've been dancing since I was 5 years old -- doing jazz, hip-hop, tap, modern -- though my first love is contemporary dance," Goodwin said. "This will be my first solo tap dance. I decided to mix it up, to take a risk."

Goodwin did a lyrical contemporary dance to the song Make You Feel My Love, by British songwriter-singer Adele, as her talent routine at last summer's pageant.

She plans to dance next week to Rock 'N Roll Beethoven, which she describes as having "a lot of piano and added energy."

Taking risks is nothing new for her. Goodwin enjoys riding her Kawasaki Ninja 250 street bike and has been on three African safaris with her parents, Larry and Annie Goodwin.

"I loved being out in the bush. It was a really good experience. And while I like shooting -- at targets -- I didn't hunt," she said.

Goodwin is hoping a win at the Miss Washington pageant would give her a wider platform for her true passion -- helping to ensure children are safe in their environments.

"My mom coordinates the Benton-Franklin Chapter of Safe Kids USA. When I was 10 years old, I became a volunteer and have been ever since," she said.

As Miss Tri-Cities, she spoke about child safety with numerous groups. She worked to have signs installed on bike paths and skate parks encouraging the use of helmets and protective pads. She also pushed to get bike safety information included in school handbooks.

The Hanford High grad will be a junior at Gonzaga University this fall, majoring in business and minoring in dance.

The Miss Washington Pageant preliminary competition -- which will narrow 22 contestants to 10 -- is Friday, with the final the next day.

The competitions begin at 7 p.m. both nights in the Highline Performing Arts Center, 401 S. 152nd St., Burien.

For more information, go to www.misswashington.org.