Miss Earth 2004 Priscilla Meirelles (in photo) competes with other beauty queens in an effort to bag the title of the first Dancing Queen of Shall We Dance. Watch the beginning of the competition this Sunday, June 1, on ABC-5. Photo: Courtesy of ABC-5


Another first is happening in Shall We Dance: The Celebrity Dance Challenge this June as it brings four beauty queens in one dance floor to vie for SWD's Search for the 2008 Dancing Queen.  

Ms. Earth 2004 Priscilla Meirelles, Binibining Pilipinas-World 2007 Maggie Wilson, Binibining Pilipinas-International 2007 Nadia Shami and Miss Amazing Philippine Beauty 2007 Rianne Barrameda trade their crowns for a pair of dancing shoes to prove that they are beauty queens who own the dance floor. 

"I've always loved to dance," says Priscilla, who was part of a professional ballet company in Brazil when she was younger. The Brazilian beauty queen admitted, however, that she doesn't have any ballroom dancing background so she will have to start from scratch. Well, it's up to her dance partner Adrian Lopez to teach Priscilla the intricate steps of ballroom dancing.  


Maggie Wilson, in turn, is here to win the competition and she's definitely ready. She says she has never danced ballroom in her life but says she's got the rhythm for it. With her willingness to learn the art of ballroom dancing and with the help of her dance partner Rommel Olson, it will only be a matter of time before we see this actress and former MTV VJ sashay her way to the finals. 


Nadia Shami admits she's nervous to join Shall We Dance but is eager to show her dance moves on the show. This Filipino-Jordanian beauty used to dance hip-hop, which is very different from ballroom, so Nadia must really make some adjustments in her style of dancing to please the judges. Good thing she and her partner Crixon Pangandian have good chemistry.  

The fourth contestant, Rianne, is part of the Amazing Philippine Theater, a theatrical troupe that showcases the best Pinoy gay talent. Yes, Rianne is a transvestite and the proverbial thorn among the roses, but with his graceful moves and the help of his partner Jong Tuliao, he can give the real girls a run for their money.  


Since this batch features beauty queens, it's fittin to have another beauty queen judge them. Miss International 1979 Melanie Marquez joins the panel of judges that includes stage director Audie Gemora, international ballroom champion Ednah Ledesma, and dance guru Douglas Nierras. 


Shall We Dance? Search for the 2008 Dancing Queen,
hosted by Lucy Torres-Gomez with co-hosts Dominic Ochoa and Arnell Ignacio, starts on June 1, Sunday at 9 p.m. only on ABC-5.