Natasha Koshti Mrs Atlantic 2020/21
World Class Queens of England Magazine would like to welcome amazing Queen Natasha Koshti Mrs Atlantic 2020.
Full name: Natasha Anne Koshti-Symons
Title/Year: Mrs Atlantic 2020/21
Pageant System: Atlantic
Zodiac sign: Cancer
Hobbies: Dance, Singing, Studying and Being a mum
Platform: Mental health and cultural diversity
Years competed: 5
Countries visited: 25
Likes: travelling, cats and trying new things
Dislikes: coriander and orca and rides at a theme park that drop you from a height!
Status: married working mum
World Class Queens of England: Please tell us about yourself.
I have a masters in psychology (MPsych Advanced Psychology Hons clinical and clinical neuropsychology pathway) and now work as a trainee pharmacy technition but soon to qualify! I also run a Bollywood dance school, I studied dance in India with top choreographer Saroj Khan, having danced since the age of 4 I have studied tap, ballet, modern, bharatnytiam and khatak dance. I have even taught tap dancing in India, as part of my cultural integration work. I also studied singing with my grade 8 in musical theatre and Italian opera and now teach for confidence building to young teenagers. I enjoy travelling and have visited lots of places in the world, I have been an exchange student in Thailand, I have studied in a Chinese university and worked as co-ordinator of volunteers for 4 months in the main mental hospital of Sri Lanka called NIMH alongside working with victims of the tsunami and wars supporting developing English skills in orphanages. I had the opportunity to workshop Mindfulness based therapies for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) cross cultural with buddhist monks which was an absolutely amazing experience. I am now a mum to my beautiful baby girl Esme who has just turned one. I absolutely love animals and have 5 rescue pets which include a Burmese cat, 2 parrots and 2 chinchillas.
World Class Queens of England: What does women Empowerment means to you?
To me, empowerment is about self belief but also the ability to encourage others to believe in themselves. It’s about supporting and enhancing wellbeing while working together and respecting others.
World Class Queens of England: Tell us about your pageant history.
I started pageantry accidentally in 2015, and I sat accidentally because I thought I was taking part in a charity fashion show, this was my first ever pageant with no training or any experience of pageantry before, there were two titles Miss Plymouth Sweetheart and Miss Grovisner and I was crowned Miss Grovisner, it from this I was advised and encouraged to go into the Miss Inspiration system where I took part in the regionals where I didn’t win but won Miss South West Charity Inspiration 2015 and then went on to win Miss Inspiration UK 2016. In 2017 I took part in Miss Royale and was crowned Miss Royale Charity UK 2017 and then took a little break from pageantry as I got married and had my daughter. It was after having my daughter that I felt I wanted to become part of another system to give me a drive and encourage me to get my confidence back after having a baby and I found Miss Atlantic where I was recently crowned Mrs Atlantic 2020/21 in January. World Class Queens of England: What inspired you to do your first pageant?
My first ever pageant I was inspired by the charity side of it and it raising money for a charity close to my heart Devon and Cornwall Cancer trust. A charity which supported my father when he was diagnosed with cancer at just 18 years old.
World Class Queens of England: Why did you choose to compete for your current title?
The current system I chose to compete in because of the mental health awareness side of it and the charity being MIND. They also were also accepting of married mothers and I felt all these things were a great platform for me to build confidence after becoming a mum. I spoke to the director before joining and from these conversations I already felt like part of the family and I new instantly that this was the right system for me.
World Class Queens of England: To those unfamiliar with your pageant system please tell us what is it about?
Atlantic is a new National system run by the beautiful director Romy Simpkins, whilst raising money for MIND a national mental health charity it empowers women, supports mental health and mental health awareness whilst being a fair and equal opportunity system.
World Class Queens of England: What are you being judged on during the competition?
The pageant scoring was on interview, fashion round, swimwear or sportswear round and evening round, with charity and appearances being a fun side award to allow for equal opportunities for all contestants.
World Class Queens of England: Tell us about your experience during the competition.
I arrived after a 4 hour drive and an early morning, all dressed and ready for interview. Behind the scenes everyone was surprisingly relaxed and organised, everyone was friendly and helping each other. I was nervous like everyone was but we all supported and cheered each other along. The interviews were over in a flash and before I new it all the rounds were over in what felt like a second. Before I new it it was crowing and the whole evening had come to an end, it wasn’t really till the next day that it sunk in that I had won. I made friends during the pageant that I will stay in touch with for a long time and look forward to seeing their future journeys.
World Class Queens of England: Tell us about your platform or what cause do you volunteer for.
I volunteered for MIND running creative with words workshops and Bollywood dancing workshops for service users, I also promote and support cultural understanding, diversity and integration. I run Bollywood and cultural workshops alongside school workshops with the aim to help defeat racism through education.
World Class Queens England: What appearances have you done with your title?
On the lead up to the finals I completed over 80 appearances ranging from attending charity events, hosting events and my most favourite was at Liverpool cathedral when I was shortlisted for the National Diversity Awards 2019 as positive role model for race faith and religion and with this I appeared on both rational and national news on multiple occasions. Since being crowned I have run a few bollywood workshops and of course my fellow sister queens and I made an appearance at the Ritz in London which was part of our prize package.
World Class Queens of England: What are some of your achievements?
My MPsych Advanced Psychology hons (clinical and clinical neuropsychology pathway) being shortlisted out of 28,000 to the final 8 in my category for the national diversity awards with my dance school work and mental health work abroad. Of course being crowned Mrs Atlantic and my daughter who has just turned 1 year old.
World Class Queens of England: What makes you stand out from all those other beautiful girls?
I am not afraid to be different and to be myself. I know what’s important to me, and I want to go out there and actively make a difference to the causes I believe in.
World Class Queens of England: Tell us about the moment your name was called out as the winner.
If I’m not mistaken I froze in shock that my name had just been called out, I couldn’t believe it, honestly every single girl competing was amazing and I was so happy and exited that I had actually won. It’s the strangest feeling, after the year leading up the the finals to that final moment where your holding hands wondering who’s name will be called, it took a moment to sink in!
World Class Queens of England: What does it mean to you to be a Beauty Queen?
Personally being a beauty queen is so much more than ones external appearance, being a beauty queen means to be genuine and respectful of others, making an impact on those around you and having values, goals and a personal platform to make a difference in what’s important to you. It’s about being a role model to others and working with a system that’s important to you.
World Class Queens of England: How did competing in pageants helped your life?
I feel it’s helped my life a lot! Not only have I gained more self confidence and lasting friendships, but I have also expanded myself and my own goals which has helped me develop my CV and push myself further. Before competing I never documented anything I did, now I have detailed portfolios off all the charity events, charity work and workshops I have run and still run, which I also feel supported me in getting shortlisted for the National Diversity Awards 2019. Competing has made me more happy with my own identity and who I am, it’s given me a drive to keep doing more. I have also learnt a lot about how to present myself and gained interview experience all things that are so important in every day life.
World Class Queens of England: How did pageants helped your self esteem and body image?
This one one of the hardest pageants for me to compete in with regards to self esteem and my own body image. Competing 1 year after having a baby and suffering complications which resulted in exercise being challenging until recently, meant that I didn’t feel in control of my body. I’d had so many people ask me if I was pregnant again strangers and people I knew, and I felt very low in my self esteem. I felt like people looked at me and either told me to get over the fact my body has changed I’ve had a baby what do you expect. Or thought I was still tiny and should be great full I can still fit in dress sizes smaller than them before a baby. This gave me very mixed feelings about my body image and weather I deserved to be unhappy with it, however I did the pageant to gain back some self confidence and it’s the most natural I have ever been for a pageant, I even went on to win best in swimwear, and with the support of all the other girls and mums in pageantry it really helped my self confidence.
World Class Queens of England: You are an inspiration to all the girls out there. How does it feel?
I’d like to think I am, the messages my family and I receive from Young girls inspired, motivated and encouraged by the work I do and the way in which I carry things out only gives me the drive to continue more. When I see young girls I work with going out they’re and making a difference because of my guidance it really makes everything worthwhile. I don’t do what I do for the reward, I do it because I want to make a difference, I want others to believe in themselves and I want others to succeed. I don’t really look for gratitude. But it makes me feel accomplished knowing that I can take the lead to activity do something to make a difference.
World Class Queens of England: What is your on stage strategy to win the judges over?
To be myself, to forget anyone is watching and have fun and be myself along with a smile so show just how much I am enjoying myself.
World Class Queens of England: How did you prepare for your competition?
I spent the whole lead up to the peanut focusing on appearances, and raising money for charity and building my portfolio, I wanted to push myself further than before and completed over 80 appearances which looking back I’m not quite sure how I managed that with my little girl. As a new mum on maternity pay I didn’t have much money for outfits, so I took some time looking around and really finding outfits that I felt confident in and that didn’t cost me too much. I actually didn’t get much time to practice my walks, I messed about with my little sister who was also competing but I didn’t really get the opportunity to practice how I wanted too, it had been a while since I’d last been on stage so that part all came from the heart. Interview I didn’t practice at all, I think it’s best to be natural and not over prepare for that.
World Class Queens of England: What are your tips for learning better pageant walk?
In the past when I have practiced walks, the best way I have learnt is to record myself and watch it back, it’s important to feel the mood of the walk, and count a rhythm in your head so you don’t walk too fast, watching others as well can be a great way to learn.
World Class Queens of England: What are your tips for choosing right pageant dress?
Firstly you have to feel good in it, it has too feel right to me that’s so important you can’t be as confident as you want to be if you don’t feel good in your dress, secondly it needs to fit right and also it should be age appropriate and finally you need to be able to walk in it.
World Class Queens of England: What are your tips for winning interview?
Don’t over prepare, answers can sound too structured and you can get panicked if the questions are not what you expected. But it’s important to have a rough idea on things you do and have done and anything you don’t want to forget. I like to practice interviews by asking really silly out or the ordinary questions, as it gets you used to answering things you maybe were not expecting. Eye contact is so important in interview, and although interviews commonly make people nervous, remember they are just people, try not to worry about it too much and be yourself. Make sure you don’t fiddle and you fit and dress professionally, this is my absolute favourite part of the pageant, I love interviews. So go in there and be yourself.
World Class Queens of England: What is one mistake that you've done during competing you wish you could redo and fix it?
My hands during crowing, I was so overwhelmed that I had won and I was worried the crown may not balance that my hand ruin the moment of me actually being crowned in photographs.
World Class Queens of England: What other mistakes are made by girls during the contest?
I’m not really one to look for others mistakes, everyone tries so hard and I personally don’t think they are mistakes but learning curves. So I think the main things are walking too fast, this is your moment on stage and nerves make it so easy to walk too fast.
World Class Queens of England: Any modelling or acting experience?
I have modelled for a beach babe calendar, and have experience modelling for photographers portfolio building and advertisements. With regards to acting experience I choreographed taught and danced in a Bollywood scene in a German film alongside having a small speaking part in the film. As a younger girl I was part of a theatre company and dance school and have danced and sung on stage. More recently my Bollywood school have been on regional and national news and I perform at lots of events.
World Class Queens of England: What are your plans for 2020 as a Queen?
I plan to work more with mental health awareness in particular supporting new mums with body confidence and mental health and well-being after having a baby, I also plan to work more with my cultural diversity work going into more schools and running even more workshops with lots planned already. I will also be continuing to raise money for MIND this year with some ideas formulating at the moment. And of course spend time with my sister queens and supporting them on their journey.
World Class Queens of England: What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
I want to be remembered, I want to make a difference and I want others to want to follow in my footsteps.
Your Director: Romy Simpkins
World Class Queens of England Magazine would like to say thank you for this amazing interview. Interview by Emma-Jay Webber Editor in Chief of World Class Queens of England Magazine and our Miss WorldClass Engalnd 2020
Natasha Koshti Mrs Atlantic 2020, World Class Beauty Queens Magazine, Photo by Lauren Blue Photography
Interview by Derek Tokarzewski Owner Mr United Nations 2018 Platform: Women Empowerment Ambassador to International Foundation for Orphans iffocares.org
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