Opening Number Tips

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Hello Ladies! I know one concern that some contestants have is about mastering the opening number. Especially ladies with no dance background. I am here to tell you that it is okay! Everyone has different talents, not everyone is a dancer, so know you are not alone. Here are a few tips on how to rock opening number ( and no you do not have to do any ballet like the picture above!)


















  1. Listen to the Song Beforehand-

Teen and Miss Contestants: Hand Clap (by: Fitz and the Tantrums)

Once the song is stuck in your head you will know the lyrics and beat better. This makes it easier when you are given key words to remember moves by during rehearsals!

  1. Wear Your Heels-
You are going to be doing some pretty fast dance moves in those heels. You need to make sure that you are comfortable wearing them before nationals come around. I may sound crazy but I would wear my heels around the house all the time. Whether I was doing the dishes or just walking from the living room to my bedroom, every step counts.

  1. Confidence is Key-
Opening Number is the first time the judges will really see you on stage. So smile, even though you are nervous! If you have a big smile on your face no one will know if you mess up. It is not about who is the best dancer, it is about the girl that is most confident.

    4. Help Each Other-
Even though the staff does an excellent job teaching you the opening number. Sometimes getting things explained a different way can really help you. On that note, please help each other. Creating a great show for the judges and the audience is a team effort! If everyone focuses and really puts in effort in and out of rehearsals it truly shows on stage.

  5. Introduction-
When you go to announce yourself make sure to speak slowly and clearly. Since your adrenaline is pumping you will immediately begin to speak fast. Walk up the the microphone and take a breath before speaking, this will help you remember to slow down. Also, make sure you project your voice. Though the microphone will pick up your voice either way, it will make everything you say clearer and louder. Trust me, the crowd will be louder than you expect.

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds."
-Orison Swett Marden

Garin Harris
Miss Teen International 2016

No Beauty Shines Brighter Than a Good Heart

Friday, May 19, 2017
When it comes to pageants, some people immediately judge them or think that they aren't a positive thing. Most think they are judged purely on a girls “Beauty” or the amount they spend on a gown. However I am here to write about something I saw the other day that really resonated with me. “No beauty shines brighter than a good heart.”

For example, a titleholder is one who should light up a room when they walk in… and not because they have a sparkly crown on their head. You should see their personality, they should almost glow. Their smile should make you want to smile, and their positive energy should be contagious. They should make you want to be the best version of yourself, not make you feel like you need to be like them. They should make everyone feel like a “someone.” They should brighten others days, and if you think that comes from the makeup and crown, you couldn't be more wrong.

The most important thing for the judges to know about me going into pageant week, was my story. I made sure it was integrated in everything that I did and even into some things I wore. I knew I would be happy with myself if I would just be able to spread my platform to as many people as possible. Whether it was through social media or speaking onstage every post and every word made me one step closer to my goal.

So, for all of the state, regional, and country titleholders. You should not be more worried about your outfits and your hair and makeup than your platform work. When you walk into interview, then are not going to ask you who designed your gown, they are going to ask what you have done your community and what you plan to do. Go into pageant week knowing that no beauty shines brighter than a good heart because you will not regret it.

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds."
-Orison Swett Marden

Garin Harris
Miss Teen International 2016 

AHA- Healthy for Good Movement

Have you joined the American Heart Association's Healthy for Good Movement yet? If not you should! It is a four part program focused on living an overall healthy lifestyle. The four parts of the program are listed below!

Eat Smart: Try to make healthy eating choices. If you are looking for some great heart healthy  recipes check out the American Heart Association Cook Book.

Add Color: Make sure to include all types of veggies! The more colors the better, especially green.

Move More: Try to exercise everyday! Sometimes it makes it easier when you exercise with others or have an accountability partner. If you are looking for a good group of people that will help you along the way, join the Go Red Get Fit Facebook Group!

Be Well: Being healthy has to do with all aspects of your life. You need to remember that your mental health is equally as important as your heart health. Find the way you like to de-stress best whether it is meditation or dance, you will be able to relax and improve your mental health.

For More Information Please Visit: healthyforgood.heart.org

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds."
-Orison Swett Marden

Garin Harris
Miss Teen International 2016 

How to Prepare: Political Questions

I have had so many contestants express their worry about being asked a political question onstage! Ladies, if you prepare correctly it isn't as scary as you think. So, here are a few tips on how to prepare to answer a political question:

Apps: I recommend downloading at least 2 news apps on your phone and getting notifications for both of them. This way not only do you have two different opinions, but you read the basic headlines for the stories. If you see a story that seems important then go to the article and read the whole thing, or watch the news video most apps provide.

Friends: Have your family and friends ask you questions about news stories they know about! This way you are getting a “non pageant style question.”  You will learn more and more about different events the more people you ask and talk with. This also allows you to get multiple different people's perspectives on the news as well.

Related to Your Platform: If there is something related to your platform that is going on in the news you should know about it! These are the types of stories that you should be following closely and know the most details about.

Teens: Ask your friends what topics they are interested in and know about. This is a good way to find out important events and details about things related to your age group!

Have an Opinion: The judges are not judging you on whether you agree with them or not, they are judging you on how you answer the question. Remember though, as an International Queen you have to represent everyone. Please do not be rude towards those who may disagree with you.

The Week Of: Be watching and studying the news the week of the pageant, especially for finals night. It is important to have the information fresh in your head before on-stage question. If you study, you will feel more confident!

I hope this helps!

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds."
-Orison Swett Marden

Garin Harris
Miss Teen International 2016 

A Pageant Binder?

Some of you have heard of a “pageant binder” or “pageant bible.” I have gotten a few questions recently on what in the world that is and what you should put in it. A pageant binder is where you keep an extra copy of all of your important information regarding you and the pageant. Here is an example of what all your pageant binder should/could include.



















  1. Extra Headshot Copy
  2. Extra Platform Page
  3. Extra Resume
  4. Extra Contract
  5. Your Handbook (or copies of it)
  6. Copy of your Driver's License
  7. Copy of your Birth Certificate
  8. Copy of Rules and Regulations
  9. Copy of Ad Page
  10. List of Typical Interview Questions
  11. Important Information or Notes on Current Events
  12. Hotel Confirmation Information
  13. Flight Itinerary/ Driving Plan
  14. Photo and Description of Wardrobe
  15. Autograph Cards ( if you have them)
  16. List of Community Service
  17. Copy of Paula Preston Order Form
  18. Copy of Video Order Form
  19. Your Social Media Information
  20. National Pageant and Current Queens Social Media Information
  21. Copy of Coronation Ball Ticket Information
  22. Copy of Fitness Order Form
  23. Copy of Opening Number Order Form
  24. Copy of Dunn and Dunn Hair and Makeup Information
  25. Any Other Pageant Sponsor Information
  26. Good Luck Notes from Family and Friends
  27. Your Contact Information/ Emergency Contact Information (in case it is lost)
  28. Any Other Tips or Information You May Need

I know it seems like a lot but trust me, having all of this information in one spot will help you greatly, especially during pageant week. Though it is fun, pageant week is also long and stressful! If you have extra copies and everything ready it will save you time and energy. Plus having notes of encouragement from family and friends really helps.

If you take the time to prepare before the pageant the better outcome and better experience you will have! So come prepared ladies! If you have any other question on what should be in your pageant binder, feel free to reach out to me.

"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds."
-Orison Swett Marden

Garin Harris
Miss Teen International 2016