Carnival is in the air and San Fernando's Gloria Dallsingh is preparing to defend her title as the reigning Queen of Carnival, having risen to the pinnacle of Carnival masquerading by capturing both the senior 2016 South Carnival Queen and National Queen of the Bands titles with her portrayal "Artemisia, D Warrior Queen" from Ivan Kalicharan's band "Call to Duty."Her son Marlon, daughter-in-law Laura, and grandson Antonio, five, also entered winners' row in 2016, making them the first family with three generations (and four members) to compete in the national finals.
Her rise to stardom on the big stage did not come easily for Dallsingh who grew up in a large and traditional Hindu home.
Tell us about your early years.
I was born in the rural village of Cleghorn on the outskirts of Princes Town and San Fernando. Coming from a Hindu family and entering the Carnival arena did not sit well with my father, but I soldiered on following my passion that I have had since I was a little girl. Interestingly, I got my sewing and designing skills from my mother who was a seamstress and my love for dancing from my father who was an East Indian dance group leader.
Which schools did you attend–primary, secondary, other?
I attended Iere Government Primary School, St Michael Secretarial, and Trinizuela College.
What are the plans for you and family for Carnival 2017?
My plans for Carnival 2017 is to defend my title and for the family to repeat another successful year, and to see my little granddaughter entering the babes-in-arm competition as she is the new addition to the family.
When was the first time you made it to the Dimanche Gras finals and how many times have you made it there since?
The first time I was in the Dimanche Gras finals was 1984 and I have been in the national finals 19 times since then.
What is your favourite thing aboutCarnival?
My favourite thing about Carnival is designing and preparing costumes for my family and myself and seeing them being put together as they come to life on the night of the shows.
What is your greatest accomplishment in Carnival other than winning the 2016 Queen title?
The other greatest accomplishment that I have achieved in Carnival is winning the South King and Queen competitions three years in a row, making it a hat-trick for mother and son.
Who has influenced you the most, other than your parents, with regard to your Carnival involvement?
The late Geraldo Rivera Sr is the one who influenced me the most with regard to my Carnival involvement. He was a brother, a friend, and a great mentor on whom I could call on any time for advice.
What is your recipe for success?
My recipe for success is hard work, dedication, perseverance, and always think positive.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have ever received is no matter how hard it may be never give up, and that's why I have accomplished so much success so far.
What is your greatest fear in life?
My greatest fear in life is seeing anything happen to my children and grandchildren and the present crime situation that we face every day.
What was your first paying job?
My first paying job started when I was 15 years old by sewing for the people in my village and when I was 16 years old, I had designed and sewn the first wedding dress.
What is the most difficult decision you have ever had to make?
The most difficult decision that I have ever had to make was choosing between living in the United States or home in Trinidad.
What would you say is yourgreatest virtue?
My greatest virtue is teaching my children high moral standards and I value also teaching a class in my church how to be self-reliant to prepare for the challenges ahead of life
What daily motto do you live by?
My daily motto I live by is a family that prays together stays together and no matter what, there is always a solution to all situations.
What is the most meaningful gift you have ever received?
The most meaningful gift I have ever received is my grandchildren, they are my pride and joy.
What goal(s) do you still have?
The goal that I still have is to continue in the Carnival Queen Competition for as long as I have good health and strength.
Your favourite calypso/soca songs?
Any from Baron, I love all his songs.
Describe yourself in two words, one beginning with G, the other with D, your initials.
Grateful, for all the blessings that the Heavenly Father has blessed me with in my life and Dedicated, always keeping focus of whatever I do.