Grit, Glamour and God
Wow! It’s hard to believe at age 47 it finally happened. The childhood dream of one day being Miss America came to pass. As a young girl, I always admired the class and grace of the Miss America contestants of years gone by. They almost looked like modern-day princesses that gifted us with their smile and grace as they appeared across my television. There were not that many channels in those days so it was easy to stay glued to the three major networks of the day.
On August 6, 2016, the #PetiteAmericaPageant and the #PetiteWorldPageant was held in Hartford, Conn. The events began a few days before as we rehearsed for our opening number, toured the city and shared some quality time with one another. Every lady present represented their respective titles and platforms with grace as we inched toward the day of the competition.
The underlining spirit was a sense of sisterhood that is fostered by the vision of the founder of the #Petite America and Petite World System, Kimberly White-Geremia. Her heart is evident in the passion she has to offer women 5’6″ and under an opportunity to shine and to promote their causes through a national title.
As the night went on, my adrenaline and sheer will began to kick in and I couldn’t think about not feeling the well- although that was the reality. I was dealing with the increase affects of a bladder infection that began the week prior, chills with no fever, headache, achey body etc. It was showtime for everyone, including me Mrs. Alabama Petite America.
The opening number began and we were off and running. The interviews had happened earlier in the day and now it was time for the show, which included 4 outfit changes during the on stage competition. After the judges scores would be tallied for the entire pageant, including the interviews and special awards.
We retired back stage to wait until it was time to return for the awards and crowning of the national and world title holders for 2016. Returning to the stage as we rehearsed, feet hurting as the reality of the evening in heels set in, we anticipated the results. The winners could have been any of the lovely ladies that participated. As they began to announce the winners of the special awards, I was shocked and overwhelmed when I was voted by my fellow queens as Miss Congeniality. What a true honor to be selected by my fellow title holders! It meant the world to me. During my senior year in high school I was voted Friendliest in my class and holds the same special significance in my heart. Thank you ladies. Love Y’all!
Next was the Fun Fitness Award sponsored by Mrs. Cori Magnotta who is the founder of Hoop With Cori http://www.hoopwithcori.com. I was still getting settled back in my spot on the stage, trying to hold my Miss Congeniality Award and look graceful at the same time. To my surprise, once again I hear, “and the winner is Mrs. Alabama, Dallas Teague Snider.” We had only just begun the award process and I was now holding two in my hands – could this be real?
There were several other special awards celebrated as I stood there with my hands full waiting for our Mrs. division to be announced. I was so amazed already with the special awards I had won, but I really wanted to win my division not only to fulfill a childhood dream, but to help support the pageant and my mission #ThinkLoveFirst with my platform. I tried the best I could to clap, but it was a bit challenging as you can see in the photo below. A good problem to have, but a challenge to clap for sure.
It was finally time to announce the 2016 title holders. As we began with the Petite America divisions my heart hoped that I would also be named Mrs. Petite America 2016. With such amazing ladies, it could have been any of us. Then it happened, the final two and I was standing there waiting for the moment I dreamed of many years ago, “and your new Mrs. Petite America 2016 is Mrs. Alabama, Dallas Teague Snider.” Wow, I was over joyed thinking this was somehow a dream- surreal. In fact, it was a dream coming true after all these years. In the midst of all the behind the scenes challenges.
My dear friend Ilisa Stillman Mrs. Petite America 2015 attempted to crown me. As I began to take my walk the crown was not secured tight enough and it suddenly came loose, falling over my face and around my neck. As any sister would, she tried to help me by attempting to hold it on my head so I could take my walk, but my train was getting caught under her shoes and I began to fall backward. It was a truly Miss Congeniality movie moment! It was quite funny for those in attendance. I am glad it went over my head and didn’t hit me in the face, that was a blessing. It was all caught on video with Facebook live from the side view and posted that day. I should have that clip to show you soon. It’s hard to believe until you see it.
The team ushered me back stage to secure my crown and rearranged my banner for the final walk with all the other title holders. It was certainly a human moment and ironic it happened to Miss Congeniality who is also an improv actor. Here we are above Mrs. Petite World 2016 and Mrs. Petite America 2016 all crowned and ready for a mission.
Now begins my journey as #Mrs. Petite America 2016. I will be sending out a press release about my global initiative to heal the wounds of our society with #ThinkLoveFirst- the only answer in today’s dark world. We can choose to #ThinkLoveFirst and be the light we are called to be. You can make a difference in the life of another. You are the difference the world is waiting for.
Grace & Peace to you!