Dani began competing in pageants in 2004. As mentioned before, Dani had to get thrifty when it came to competing. Dani also didn’t work with a coach or have any close family or friends who were experienced in the pageant world, so she found herself competing and learning from her own mistakes.
Dani started competing in the National American Miss Pageants when she was only 14 years old. She competed in NAM California in 2004 and received the third runner-up in casual wear and second runner-up in talent. Dani now looks back and realizes that she was not the most prepared or educated on the outfits and style she should be wearing as a junior teen in a pageant.
Dani spent six years competing in the NAM California pageant circuit. She would often place as a runner-up in the casual wear, actress, and spokesmodel competitions.
In 2006, Dani won her first state title as Miss California Jr. Teen. This year she also won first place for the Casual Wear and Actress awards, as well as first runner-up Sokes model and 2nd runner-up talent awards. At 16 years old Dani got to compete in her third national competition. Here, she placed as the second-runner up in the Actress category, and she was also the spirit award winner.
Each time Dani competed she grew wiser and more knowledgeable about herself and the pageant world. She would take the critiques and feedback from each pageant and apply them to the way she prepared the following year.
Dani got to compete at the national level at NAM in 2008 and 2009. She would often sweep the awards for the Spirit, Actress, Casual Wear, Spokesmodel, and Talent categories.
After her many years of growth and success in the NAM circuit, Dani went on to compete in other local and state competitions for Miss America and Miss USA. Dani would do well for herself over the next 9 years in pageantry, but most of the time she would remain as a regional titleholder and place as a runner-up in the state level.
Dani set her sights on the Miss Montana USA title in 2016. She took the stage as Miss Billings Heights USA and placed top 5 at Miss Montana USA 2017. She went through an emotional time after the pageant as this was her dream for six years and she fell short. The Miss Montana USA pageant enlightened Dani on how to add more wellness and healthy habits into her lifestyle. However, she had a goal much bigger than this.
In 2017 she set her heart out to win Miss Montana USA 2018. For the first time she shared her ‘Road to Miss Montana USA 2018’ journey with her subscribers on Youtube. She took everything she had learned from her 10+ years of competing in pageants and unapologetically put her soul into preparing for the competition.
This time, there was no runner-up placement for Dani, she won the title of Miss Montana USA 2018! Dani spent the year travelling to many other state competitions in preparation for Miss USA 2018. When the time came, she had an incredible experience because she had made such good friends with the other state titleholders even before the pageant.
Although she did not place at Miss USA 2018, she felt that she did not need to win the title to continue on her path of success and happiness. She had achieved many accomplishments by overcoming her adversities, that even without the title of Miss USA 2018 she could continue to make her other dreams come true!
You can hear more about Dani's pageant journey in this episode of Pageant Planet's podcast: