Senior musical theatre major Shelby Ringdahl will be the third Horned Frog in four years to compete for the Miss America crown, as she was named Miss Missouri 2013 Saturday evening.
“Honestly, I’m just filled with overwhelming joy,” Ringdahl said. “It’s so exciting being a performer and being able to perform on the Miss America stage and represent my home state that I love so much.”
According to the Miss Missouri website, Ringdahl also won a $10,000 scholarship, in addition to the crown and title of Miss Missouri.
A panel of judges decided between the contestants in five different phases including a personal interview, lifestyle and fitness, talent, evening wear and an on-stage question. Ringdahl’s talent for the event was a vocal performance of “Defying Gravity.”
Ringdahl focused on two organizations in particular during her preparation for the Miss Missouri Pageant, as community service plays a major part in the pageant.
“The national platform of Miss America is Children’s Miracle Network and so all the contestants fundraise for Children’s Miracle Network,” Ringdahl said. “I actually put on an entire musical theatre benefit concert at TCU with a ton of my friends in the theatre department.”
In addition to the national platform, each contestant must also have a personal organization and/or cause that she supports through service. Ringdahl, a member of the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta, said her organization was also Theta’s philanthropy, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children.
CASA for Children looks to recruit, train and support volunteers to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings.
Ringdahl, a native of Columbia, Mo., will represent her home state in the Miss America Pageant on September 15 in Atlantic City, N.J.
The pageant was in January last year but has since been moved to September, giving the competitors less time to prepare than normal.
“It’s gonna be a crazy 90 days,” Ringdahl said.