Miss Ballerina at National American Miss

So, last weekend your friendly neighborhood ballerina-to-be competed in the “pageant for today’s girl”, National American Miss.

What was your friendly neighborhood ballerina-to-be doing competing in a pageant? Excellent question!

This year, I was not participating in any ballet competitions. The reasons include:

  1. The expense. Seriously, ballet competitions cost so much!
  2. My age. Or more specifically, I was a senior in high school this year. The possible reward of studying somewhere fantastic for the summer or a year were not as appealing as in previous years. I thought I would be going to college, and I knew I was going away, so I wanted a relatively free (and less expensive) summer, and I knew that if by some miracle I was offered training during the year, I wouldn’t be able to take it.
  3. I have had the experience and performance opportunity from competing before. Multiple times. And I also have the experience that says even if I am fortunate enough to win, say, a summer scholarship to some fabulous place, I may not be able to take it.

So, with not competing in any ballet competitions, my schedule and pocketbook were open to something else. In the mail, I received an invitation for an open call for NAM. Unlike the year previously, however, I did not ignore it. Fast forward to July, and I am at my first, and most likely last, pageant event!

I honestly can say that I have enjoyed the experience. I had the opportunity to wear my prom dress (and feel like a princess) again, rocked an interview (and my “kickin’ outfit” according to my mom) and presented myself onstage speaking into a microphone. For the optional contests, I chose Top Model, in which I had fun working one-on-one with a photographer. And let me tell you, I got one huge ego and confidence boost from the photographer’s constant compliments during the shoot. I had the biggest grin on my face for hours after. Oh, and I also received a CD of the pictures from the shoot, which I can honestly say turned out pretty good.

The other optional contest I competed in was of course Talent. Even if it wasn’t strictly a ballet competition, I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to perform onstage! And my mom was able to make a Don Quixote tutu, which made her happy. (Side note on the incredible seamstress/ mathematician Momma- she might be starting her own sewing blog here on wordpress!) And I guess I made the judges happy too, because I ended up winning the Talent Category!

So while I didn’t even come close to being crowned Miss Florida Teen (let’s chalk that up to lack of experience, shall we?), I did walk away with a pretty cool trophy, a cash prize, and an invite to compete at Nationals. I was very happy with this outcome. Some girls get into doing pageants (almost) as much as I love dancing, and I wasn’t disappointed at all for not coming in the Top 20. Frankly, at the time I was just tired of standing on the stage in those heels! But really, I didn’t want to win. Not only because I knew I couldn’t go to Nationals due to scheduling conflicts if I did, but because pageantry just isn’t as important to me as it is to those other girls. Sitting in the audience cheering on the finalists, I felt content. It was nice to enjoy the weekend of competing without the stress of a ballet competition, and I wasn’t stressed because I didn’t want it bad. Which is also why three years ago I cried my eyes out when I didn’t make the NYC finals for a ballet competition. Because then, it mattered. And at that time three years ago, a friend of mine made me realize this.

To wrap this all up: Ballerina takes Talent Category by storm, enjoys pageant for fun, and gets to spend a weekend feeling pretty and cheering on other young ladies. It was nice to have a different perspective and just enjoy myself, rather than need to win.

A lot of people might have wanted to try a pageant at least once. My advice is: go for it! National American Miss gets you out of your comfort zone with public speaking, interviewing, giving back, and of course walking onstage in a pretty dress. You’ll enjoy yourself, meet new people, and come out with increased confidence!



  1. You should post more videos of yourself dancing! Can’t dance for the life of me, but I really like watching people do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Everyone can dance, and yes their bedroom singing into a hairbrush while no one is home totally counts ;). I’ll post videos when I can, they’re just harder to get than pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

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