My name is Lindsey Larsen and I am elated to say I am your Miss Utah 2022! My journey to this moment has taken an army of people who have supported, loved, hugged, and helped me in so many ways. If you were a part of this journey in any way, THANK YOU!
My love for this state and the people in it grows stronger each day and I am thrilled to get to know you more personally this year. To help you all get to know me a little bit better, here are nine facts you should know about me!
1. I’m a Ballerina
When I was 4, my parents put me on a soccer team with my brother and cousin. My time on the team didn’t last long as I ended up kicking the ball and scoring points into the opposing team’s goal. Soccer wasn’t for me, so my mom put me in ballet since she said I moved gracefully and it stuck! I received the majority of my training at Ballet West Academy on multiple merit scholarships.
Ballet has opened many doors for me. I have been away from home almost every summer starting at the age of 12 to attend ballet intensives across the nation. Ballet has taken me to Hawaii, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. Currently, I am a ballet major at the University of Utah, (Go Utes!) which is a nationally ranked program that only admits forty students per year. I am so grateful for the role that ballet has in my life and cannot wait to perform across the state this year and perform a ballet piece on the Miss America stage!!
2. Some People Call Me “Miss Lindsey”
One of my greatest roles in life is being called “Miss Lindsey.” I have taught as a ballet teacher for 4 years. I teach at multiple dance schools in Utah County, one of them being Ballet West Academy, the studio where I grew up dancing.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing a student work hard for something and nail a new step, or when they have an “a-ha” moment and something just clicks. Being “Miss Lindsey” has given me the opportunity to be a mentor and leader to my students just as being Miss Utah has.
3. How I got started in the Miss America Organization
Young Lindsey used to go to her hometown’s recreation center with her mom and look at the wall of forever Miss Lehi’s (the Miss America program for the city of Lehi) and want to be one of those women. As much as I wanted to be one of those women, I felt that it was out of reach for me since I was extremely shy. I couldn’t order food at a restaurant, hated raising my hand in class, and had social anxiety in any social setting.
Flash forward to dancing at Ballet West Academy. A few of my friends in my class were involved in their local competitions for the Miss America Organization. I saw them devote their lives to service, build their communication skills, perform their talents, and be a cause for good. I knew I wanted to gain these same skills so I signed up for my first local (the Miss Lehi competition) my senior year of high school. I was awarded third runner-up and spent that year shadowing the queen and witnessing all the hard work it takes to have a job in the Miss America Organization. The next year, I came back and became Miss Lehi. I now have my picture on the same wall I used to look at when I was young. What an honor!
Because of the pandemic, I got to serve as Miss Lehi for two years. I then went to Miss Utah and got second runner-up! I decided that my time in the Miss America Organization wasn’t done and competed for Miss Utah County later that summer and earned the job. I love what this organization can do for young women and can’t wait to promote it more throughout the state!
4. I Like to Move It, Move It
In 2017, only 17.9% of students in Utah were meeting the required 60 minutes of physical activity. That statistic is pre-pandemic. After two years of virtual learning, students are struggling mentally, physically, and emotionally. My Social Impact initiative, The MOVEMENT Movement, is a movement inspired to equip students, teachers, and individuals with disabilities with the integral resources needed to improve mental, physical, and emotional health through daily movement-based activities. I have worked with the Utah County Health Department to bring brain break activities to the classroom and have taught over 1,000 students. Stay tuned for more exciting things in the works for The MOVEMENT Movement!
5. I Serve as Head Coach For a Utah Special Olympics Dance Team
One of my friends in my dance class growing up had a sister with special needs. Her sister wanted to participate in class but was never allowed to because of her disability. This is something that really hit me. I believe everyone, no matter who they are, should be able to participate in their passions and have a sense of inclusion and community. This inspired me to start teaching adaptive dance classes. I have taught many classes across Utah and ultimately started my own DanceSport class with Special Olympics Utah. Each Tuesday, I leave class with the biggest smile on my face. These students carry such a light with them. It’s an honor to coach the All-Stars!
6. You Can Catch Me In The Movie “Dear Dumb Diary”
When I was around 12 years old, I auditioned to be a backup dancer for a movie that was being filmed in Utah. I sadly didn’t make the cut but was later contacted to be a featured extra in the film. I was so excited and wanted my brother to share the experience with me. This was a paid gig so you better believe we were living our best lives. See if you can spot us in, “Dear Dumb Diary”.
7. I’m the Sweatiest Gal in Ballet Class
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been sweaty. Not just the sweaty palms you get right before you take a test or speak in front of a crowd, but sweaty palms all the time. Along with 5% of the world’s population, I deal with extreme sweating. I had extremely sweaty hands growing up. My papers at school would get soaked from my hands, I always felt so awkward shaking hands with anyone, and I was made fun of for it. I secretly thought I was a superhero and would eventually be able to spray water out of my hands but that didn’t happen. I eventually had to get surgery since hyperhidrosis was prohibiting me from doing day to day things. There was a chance that if the surgery didn’t go well, I would have to have a pacemaker. Luckily, the surgery went well and my hands no longer sweat! My feet sweat a lot and I’m still the sweatiest in ballet class.
I didn’t know what was wrong with me until I found out I had hyperhidrosis. 365 MILLION people are struggling with extreme sweating or hyperhidrosis. I’ve met a lot of people, especially young kids like me, who think excessive sweating is normal and have to suffer through the awkwardness, the bullying, the insecurity, and the frustration. Many people who sweat excessively don’t talk about their symptoms and never tell anyone. I want to bring more light on this really important topic in hopes that more people can understand what they are going through and know that more people experience this too.
8. Ich habe einen deutschen bruder (I Have A German Brother)
In 2015, my family hosted a German exchange student. He was quite creative and would make and produce his own music. I will always remember him sitting in our kitchen with his DJ set making music. He now has his own music on Spotify! Our family had tons of fun showing him around Utah, as well as learning about Germany and his culture. My brother ended up living in Germany for two years too so Germany has a special place in my heart!
9. My Eyes Can Dance
One of my hidden talents is that I have Voluntary Nystagmus, or can make my eyes dance. Voluntary Nystagmus is a pendular, rapid, conjugate, primarily horizontal movement initiated and maintained by voluntary effort. Both me, my dad, and my grandpa have blue eyes and are able to do it so I think it’s a genetic thing!
This is going to be one wild year! I am so excited and ready to get serving in the incredible beehive state! If you want to follow me on my journey as Miss Utah, you can follow me on Insta and TikTok @Lindsey_larsen and on the official Miss Utah accounts @missamericaut and @missutorg.
Sending all my love!