On the Scene with newly-crowned Hawaii Narcissus Queen Jamie Ming See Lee
Jamie Ming See Lee is a marketing coordinator at The Queen’s Health Systems and was crowned Hawaii’s 71st Narcissus Queen at the Hawaii Theatre on Jan. 11.
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Jamie Ming See Lee was born and raised in Honolulu. Her first language was Cantonese, she learned English in preschool and then learned Mandarin at ‘Iolani School in her early teens.
Dance has been her passion since childhood. Lee began taking lessons in ballet and jazz when she was 5 and was a member of the ‘Iolani School Dance Team for 12 years. She then was a University of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior Dancer while she was earning a bachelor’s degree in communications at UH-Manoa.
Lee, 25, is a marketing coordinator at The Queen’s Health Systems and was crowned Hawaii’s 71st Narcissus Queen at the Hawaii Theatre on Jan. 11. She also received the titles Miss Photogenic and Miss Talent, winning the latter with sizzling upbeat jazz dancing performed to a custom-mixed arrangement of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”
Let’s start with that performance at the pageant. How did you put it together?
I actually started out with a difference dance that I worked on for four months but when I showed it to my pageant coach, Lisa Lee Simon, who is an ‘Iolani teacher and 1995 Narcissus Queen, she told me that it needed to be more competitive. I was able to salvage some of my choreography and use it to “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” which is a more upbeat song. The beginning part of the music is from the movie, “Burlesque,” but the main part is the rendition by Connie Fisher.
Are you going to be able to take any time off or will you be on duty as the reigning Narcissus Queen until this time next year?
The first thing I did after Saturday’s pageant was I went to McDonald’s and I had a hamburger and fries, but after that I’ll be maintaining where I am right now so I can fit into my cheongsams. I’m representing the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Chinese community in Hawaii. That’s very important.
One of the highlights of each Narcissus Queen’s reign is leading a goodwill visit to China. This year’s visit is in June — and includes a stop in Macao. Are there places that you are particularly interested in visiting?
One of the things that I look most forward to visiting the Hanging Monasteries in Datong, and the caves that are also in Datong. The caves have carvings and artwork that date back to the Tang dynasty. I’m so excited to learn more about the culture and to learn more about myself and where I come from.
What is something you learned from your parents?
That being appreciative is one of the most important things in life. The design of my (pageant) dress reflects my appreciation for everybody who has supported me and lifted me up to where I am today. White represents my eagerness to learn and grow, and the gold flowers and vines are my supporters — my family and friends who really kept me going throughout this process and throughout this journey.
Is there something you like to do that has nothing to do with your title?
I’ve very passionate about animals. We have pets at home and they are nontraditional — a tortoise and a silky chicken — and I like to spend the day with my animals.
This is strictly coincidence since he wrote the song before you were born, but do you know that Brother Noland wrote a song titled “Jamie Lee” in 1986?
I actually didn’t know until recently, but people have played it for me a couple of times.