For my first blog post as Miss Utah, I wanted to give you all a chance to get to know me, who I am, what I do, and what I want to accomplish throughout my year. I’d also like to introduce some topics I want to touch more on this year including my social impact initiative, my talent, and some exciting things I am thrilled about getting started and continuing through my year as Miss Utah.
My social impact initiative (SII) is entitled “Servesteem – increasing self-esteem through service.” It is in memory of my uncle Lynn who was severely mentally and physically disabled. My family and I became his legal guardian upon his parents passing and we visited him and his friends at the faculty he resided at often. He was my best friend. When I was with him I felt valued, loved and not judged. I really enjoyed my time with him. He passed away about five years ago.
I knew I needed to keep that sense of joy and happiness in my life. I realized the best way to go about this was through serving and loving those around me. When we go out of our way to make others feel better, there is an indescribable feeling of mutual human connection. It never fails to brighten even my worst of days. This is what I held onto when I was diagnosed with depression and an eating disorder. Through the darkest of days, I knew that if I could help someone to find that joy we all desire, I would be able to feel my own self worth and value. I know this works because it worked for me.
I started dancing at the age of two. Well, really I was dancing way before then. When my mother had her initial prenatal appointment to check for a heartbeat, they told her the overwhelming news that she was pregnant with TWINS! This was of course not true, but my heart was beating so fast they had thought there were two hearts in her stomach. And so the joke has always been that I was a dancer before I was born.
Ballet has opened so many doors for me. I have been away from home every summer starting at the age of 12 to attend ballet intensives across the nation and world. I’ve danced in California, New Mexico, New York, Arizona, Colorado, and Prague. I received the majority of my training at Ballet West Academy on a merit scholarship. I was also invited to audition on “So You Think You Can Dance” and granted early admittance to The University of Utah’s Ballet program.
But out of all of these accomplishments, my most rewarding was running a dance class specifically for students with special needs. I loved being able to see them develop and grow through this art form that I am so passionate about. I will be starting this program up again this year so be on the lookout!
Through my reign as Miss Utah, I will have the opportunity to do some amazing things and work with incredible people. I’m incredibly eager to continue my dance program for students with special needs. I plan to implement quarterly service projects around the state of Utah to help get others involved in servesteem. I will also continue the legacy of Miss Utah 2018, Jesse Craig by doing bi-monthly “Miss Utah Mondays” where I will interview and highlight a service organization in the state of Utah to help expose the phenomenal work they do.
I can feel that this is going to be a great year! I love this state and everything it stands for, and am incredibly honored to represent Utah as I head to Miss America. I’ll do everything I can to make you all proud to have me as your state titleholder.