Clay Dubberly, Editor-In-Chief
Dorothy “Dot” Kelly, 18, was recently crowned as Miss Tysons after competing in a local pageant.
There were 12 other contestants, and only winners from three districts emerged: Tysons Corner, Capitol Region, and Northern Virginia.
Dot is a dance performance major enrolled in Shenandoah Conservatory, with dreams to one day win Miss America, and with her recent victory at Tysons, she’s one step closer to reaching her goal.
Dot developed an interest in pageants when she was younger, describing how her dance studio worked with the Miss Virginia pageants.
“Every summer I was a dancer/performer at Miss Virginia, and I was never a pageant girl,” she said.
“I thought they were incredibly superficial, until one summer I got to meet the girls and see what they were all about.”
In fall 2013, Dot competed in her first pageant, Miss Peninsula. She didn’t win that time, however, but that didn’t deter her from continuing to compete in pageants.
“My first thought was being incredibly disappointed,” she said. “Then I realized that, you know, I didn’t come in prepared, and I committed myself to do better the next pageant.”
Another contestant who Dot knew won the title but was unable to keep it. Since dot was the runner-up, she was awarded Miss York County’s Outstanding Teen.
The title of Miss Tysons gives Dot more opportunities to give back to the community and help others. “I can go around my community and do a lot of community service work: my personal platform is ACT, embracing cultural diversity. As an ambassador for Miss America I get to be an advocate for the Children’s Miracle Network,” Dot said.
The Children’s Miracle Network is a non-profit organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals, medical research and community awareness of of children’s health issues.
Dot mentioned that people sometimes confuse Miss America and Miss USA; the difference, she said, is very distinct.
Miss America is a scholarship organization that focuses on community, service, style and success. They have a lengthier interview with questions about current world events, and each contestant is required to have a personal platform.
“Miss USA is more of a beauty pageant,” she said, adding that their interviews are simpler, with an evening gown and swimsuit section. “It’s not your typical beauty pageant — it’s not focused on the beauty or the marketing,” she said.
The titleholders appeared on WJLA-TV’s “Good Morning Washington” show to speak about their experience at the pageant; each woman donned their crown onstage.
Emmy-award winning news anchor, Autria Godfrey, interviewed them.
“You have to really prepare with your talent, and your interview, and you have to be one hundred percent ready,” Dot said.
“The Let Girls Learn initiative was really fun; it’s all about empowering women, and we got to do a really fun opening number with it,” Dot said.
The Let Girls Learn initiative is aimed towards helping adolescent girls around the world have access to education.
“I’m a freshman at Shenandoah Conservatory so I’m still trying to work out everything and I’m still trying to make Dean’s list for this semester, as I did last semester,” she said.
(Photo courtesy of Kimberly Needles Photography)