If you are like me and did not come dancing out of the womb, then the opening number might make you a bit anxious. Dancing in heels, a pre-determined outfit, and cheesy choreography, this constitutes the first facet of a pageant competition. While you may or may not be a big fan, you must “milk it.” A big pageant smile, a dynamite look, comfortable heels, and did I mention a BIG smile? Here is the checklist for opening number.
Comfort, height, and style are the three most important criteria when choosing a heel for opening number (and in that order.) This is typically the biggest mental obstacle. I have two left feet, but when it comes to opening number I tell myself that I have prepared as much as possible and have the best possible resources. This means that I have eliminated materialistic worries by altering my outfit, choosing a corresponding heel, and glamming myself up! Also, a neutral heel is always best for opening number, it does not draw the eye. One of my favorite pieces of heel advice that I have ever heard came from Jeannie Mai at Miss USA 2012. She said that if you can balance on the platform (toe area) without great difficulty then you have a correct heel height, but if not, then your shoes are too tall.
Uniformity is the reason for matching outfits during opening number, and it makes sense, right? While it may be best for presentation, that doesn’t always mean it is best for each individual style wise. A few years ago when I was competing at a state pageant, I was given a heinous and unflattering cowl neck sweater dress. We were told that we had to wear whit leggings underneath and a neutral heel. This only added to the cheapness of the look. However, I managed to draw attention away from the outfit by purchasing flashy accessories and playing up my makeup to make the focus on my face. Again, when you receive such an outfit, smile big and roll with it. Also, make exchanges with other contestants if you need a different size or talk with the director. Do this in a timely fashion, not an hour before show time.
This might possibly be the most important aspect of the entire competition, as I have alluded to before. When you are uncomfortable in a situation, it tends to show on your face; at least I have that tendency. Although you must acquire a pageant poker face and become a master of disguise. When you smile, you radiate confidence and portray a strong character. Not only that, but smiling is good for the soul. This simple act portrays happiness and excitement.
Remember pageant girl, “Keep your heels, head, and standards HIGH!”
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