Beauty and the beats: Miss Southeastern Clogger Pageant (PART ONE)

miss-southeastern-clogger-pageant.png

Anybody else clueless but curious about clogger pageants? I've seen ladies wearing crowns and sashes passing out awards at clogging competitions and that was pretty much the extent of my knowledge on this topic. 

Enter Kaley Conn, who was recently crowned Overall Queen for ages 12+ in the Miss Southeastern Clogger Pageant. One of Kaley's first missions as Queen is to spread the word about this pageant after she and a younger teammate both had wonderful experiences with the event. Summer Hanson brought home the Junior Miss title, giving Clogging Connection bragging rights as the home studio to TWO royal dancers!

danielle-pageant-director-georgia.png

Danielle Podrazik created this pageant thirteen years ago as a fundraiser for the Georgia Clogging Association. She has served as pageant director the entire time. The event takes place each year at the Opera House in Hawkinsville, Georgia. (It's an old theatre full of charm, character, and history. I love those kinds of places!)

Originally called the Miss Georgia State Clogger Pageant, the name was changed after ten years due to growing numbers of competitors from other states. The pageant is open to dancers from all U.S. states.

clogging-pageant-rehearsal.png

The entire event takes place over a single day, starting with rehearsal in the morning. Participants compete in four categories: 

1. Interview

The first category following morning rehearsal, interviews are not open to the public. Each contestant meets with a panel of judges and answers questions based on an information sheet turned in before the pageant. All other pageant categories take place in front of an audience that evening.

2. Talent (Clogging, of course!) 

Time limit is two minutes. Cloggers of all levels and styles are encouraged to compete. Props are allowed, showmanship is important. I love that the pageant organizers don't care what kind of clogging you do; they just care that you love clogging!

3. Evening Wear

This takes place at the same time as Verbal Presentation. Each contestant goes to the microphone, delivers her speech, then does "the walk" across the stage.

4. Verbal Presentation

Each contestant gets 30-45 seconds to cover a "clogging-related" topic. Examples given on this year's application include: why I love clogging, my favorite clogging memory, what clogging means to me. I find it very smart that the rules allow so much freedom for participants to express themselves within the broad topic of clogging.

passing-on-the-pageant-title.png

Awards follow, with a winner in each age division, plus two Overall Queens (a junior queen and a senior queen, although the pageant doesn't use that exact terminology).

Pictured above is the 2017 Overall Queen Dalita Peeler posing with Kaley after passing on the title to her. Danielle does NOT mess around when it comes to choosing crowns; those things are gorgeous!

Pageant winners serve as official ambassadors for the Georgia Clogging Association. There are no "required" appearances, although winners are encouraged to participate in GCA events and events in their local area to promote the love of clogging.

clogging-pageant-tee-shirts.png

Congrats to the 2018 winners of the Miss Southeastern Clogger Pageant!

Overall Miss (11-under): Haley Willis
Overall Miss (12-up): Kaley Conn

Tiny Miss: Ambree White
Young Miss: Alyssa Boatright
Junior Miss: Summer Hanson
Preteen Miss: Ma’Kaysia Devero
Junior Teen Miss: Hannah Holm
Teen Miss: Taylor Madge Oliver
Senior Miss: Rachel Douberley

In writing this blog post, I was impressed to find nothing but cooperation and enthusiasm when I started asking questions about how these pageants work. People are passionate about the skills gained and friendships made by participating in pageants, even years later! More to come about that in a future post, along with advice on preparing for a pageant, and more info about Kaley and Summer's experiences on pageant day! 

THANK YOU to everyone who provided info and/or photos for this post series, including Danielle, Kaley, Summer, Becky (Kaley's mom), Sherri (Summer's mom), Kyle Kirkland (clogger and pageant coach), Whitney Porter Wang (a former Miss EPIC).

Thinking about trying the Miss Southeastern Clogger Pageant next year? 

Visit the Georgia Clogging Association website for more info. New pageant applications are usually ready in August.

You can contact Danielle on Facebook or by email at missgastateclogger@yahoo.com with additional questions.