Miss Nevada: A lean, mean, sparkly machine
GARDNERVILLE, Nev. – Twenty-five pairs of high heels replace what used to be tennis shoes at the top of 2009 Miss Nevada Christina Keegan’s closet in Gardnerville, Nev. Most of it is filled with garment bags of gowns and dresses for the Miss America Pageant. “This part of my closet is not applicable to real life,” she said.
“This half of the closet,” indicating the opposite side, “is real life. No sparkles.
“Everything I wear for the Miss America Pageant has sequins, beads and rhinestones,” Keegan said.
“The Nevada pageant organizers said they want to see Miss Nevada in something fun and cute and sparkly. And how often do I, as a medical student, get to play dress-up?”
Keegan gave a wardrobe preview Sunday in Gardnerville in conjunction with the the Miss Nevada Scholarship Organization.
In addition to modelling her wardrobe, Keegan danced the ballet she will perform as her talent in the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas on Jan. 30.
She has been preparing for the Miss America Pageant since she was crowned Miss Nevada in June. Her schedule included ballet practice three times a week at All About Dance, strength training at World Gym twice a week and speaking engagements with service clubs and community groups throughout northern Nevada.
“They sent me to someone who chopped off my hair and taught me how to do my makeup,” she said.
“Then I went to the gym to get bulked up and gained 7 pounds of muscle. I’ve spent a lot of time in the gym, so the swimsuit competition is the easiest part of the pageant for me.”
Besides the swimsuit competition, Miss America contestants are judged on their talent and on interview questions.
“The No. 1 thing they look for in Miss America is that she needs to be pretty. That’s because you see her first on TV,” said Keegan. “You have to be engaged with her, so she has to be warm and personable. Next is talent.”
Keegan’s talent for the competition is ballet en pointe to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Her personal platform is Strength Over Silence: Rape Education and Recovery and she’s a national partner with the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network victim resource center.
The Miss America Pageant is Jan. 25-30 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Only the final night of the competition with the 15 finalists is televised, but the 53 total contestants participate in preliminaries all week. Keegan has her private interview on the first day, with her onstage question, swimsuit and talent preliminaries on each day following.
The Miss America Pageant is televised on TLC at 8 p.m. Jan. 30.
Going on the trip to Las Vegas are five pieces of luggage and 10 to 12 garment bags. There are three beaded evening gowns, a cocktail dress for her onstage question, an interview dress and outfits for a fashion show the week before the actual competition. Accessories include bejeweled high, high heels and 5-inch long crystal earrings.
“Everything’s done and I feel ready to go to Las Vegas,” said Keegan. “I’m going to relax and enjoy the process because this is only time I’ll be doing this.”
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It’s time to secure outdoor loose furniture, decorations and garbage cans because high winds are aimed at Lake Tahoe for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.