My child has participated in one pageant to date, and is currently getting ready to attend the National level. When showed up at the pageant, we had no idea as to which end was up. Here is my accounting of what we did at the state level pageant so you can know what to expect.
What to expect at a pageant Day 1:
We arrived at the host hotel at 6:45 pm. We ran our things up to our room and then ran back down to check in. At check in, we needed to have all of our forms ready and cash to pay any outstanding fees. Checks are not accepted during the last weeks before a pageant incase someone decided not to honor them.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ The sign in process was well organized, and everyone made us feel comfortable and excited to be there. We did have a little trouble checking in as I had called and charged the remaining fees at the last minute, but the problem was ironed out quickly, smoothly, and to everyone’s satisfaction. Our forms were taken, ribbons and instructions were handed out, and we got an autographed photo from the reigning Miss Preteen GA.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ After signing in, we were able to go into the practice room for my daughter to practice her talent. This was not mandatory, but very important as the girls needed to feel familiar with the stage, and my daughter would have been uncomfortable had she not tried out the piano before performance time.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ We sent the boys back home and enjoyed a relaxing girl’s only night.
What to expect at a pageant Day 2:
Ã¢Â?Â¢ We had to be up bright and early in order to eat before attending 9am orientation.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Before that, she also attended an optional informational session (that we paid extra for) as this was her first pageant. I was surprised to be met at the door and sent off on my own way, as my “nine year old was perfectly capable of handling this on her own”, with a proverbial pat on my behind.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Later that afternoon, was the talent competition. We had just enough time before it for lunch, and then about a half hour to get dressed. Although this is not officially show time, it helps to invite support to the talent show. We did.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Later that evening was the eveningwear show. This is where the girls are judged in their formal gowns. In this section, the girls are escorted on the stage. It makes girls feel extra special when it is a close family member like a father or brother. After the eveningwear competition, we ran up to the room to take of the dress, as she would have to wear it again. Then we had dinner at special pageant prices in the hotel dining room before she ran off the ice cream social that was held for the pageant girls. Once again, parents were discouraged from attending this event.
What to expect at a pageant Day 3.
The final day is the most stressful day. (Not only did it go by quickly, but also by the end of the day, I had a migraine headache and a visible eye twitch. )
Ã¢Â?Â¢ At 9:15, she had her interview: The officials like the parents to be as much hands off as possible with no last minute coaching or primping that might cause the girls stress. You should probably know that by the third day officials are stressed out too and can be snappy, especially if they think you are distracting the girls while they are talking.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ After the interviews, the girls meet in a conference room to announce the winners of the optional competitions. The winner’s names are also visibly posted.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ The afternoon is filled with more workshops and rehearsals as there is usually a group dance performance on the final night, so you had to run back up to the room, yet again to change into sweats.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ When the rehearsals are over, the girls time enough to eat and be dolled up for the final show. This is tricky because they get dressed in their group costumes first and bring their formal outfits to the changing room. For girls over age 7, parents are not allowed to help them dress, so you have to be strategic with the hairdo and make sure the dress is simple enough to get on by herself.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ The final show includes the winners of the talent show performing again, and group dance routines of several age groups. Additional awards are handed out. Final judging and a final walk in evening gowns are next, followed by picking the Queens Court and then the winners.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ The most important thing to remember is that after the show is over, it is best to locate your child because the room will be vacated quickly as older girls may be having their pageant event immediately following.
Avoid rough spots at beauty pageants:
Due to our inexperience, we had some rough spots. Here is some advice to help you avoid doing the same.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Ask questions, we had no idea that my daughter had to do her intro at the same time as the interview, and was rattled.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Do not give up the hotel room too early. It is best to pay for the extra day. We could have really used a nap on the last day before the performance, but had nowhere to sleep.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Have all hairstyles planned out before hand and keep it as simple as possible. We had a hard time for the final show, and of course, we had to do her hair in public.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Be very observant, you can learn a lot from veteran pageant parents.