Last month, School of Dance ballet major Dexonna Talbot was crowned Miss Utah. A sophomore at the U, Talbot grew up dancing and participating in competitions like Miss Utah. She said having a ballet background came in particularly handy in competition.
“The Miss Utah Scholarship Competition has a talent portion that counts for almost half of your total score,” she explained. “Both years I competed for the title of Miss Utah, I won a talent preliminary award with my ballet variations.”
The runners-up list held a few other university ballet majors as well, including first runner-up Hannah Sterling (alumna) and third runner-up Alexa Knutzen (current student).
When asked why so many ballet dancers do well in these competitions, Talbot said it all came back to ballet training.
“Ballet takes discipline, hard work and dedication—all things that help create not only a well-rounded dancer but person. I believe this is why dancers do so well in not only this competition but for life in general. I’m so grateful for this art form and all it has taught me.”
Along with the title of Miss Utah 2019 and a $10,000 scholarship, Talbot was given the keys to a brand new car for the year. She will also receive multiple in-kind donations and services from the sponsors of the Miss Utah Scholarship Organization, and she will be eligible to compete for the title of Miss America in 2020. She is still walking on air after being crowned.
“This is a moment I have been dreaming about since I was 8 years old and went to my first Miss America competition. I just couldn’t believe the moment had finally come. I also had an overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude for all of those who had worked so hard to help me be the very best I could be and compete to the best of my abilities.”
In the upcoming year, Talbot will be spreading her social impact initiative titled “Servesteem—increasing self-esteem through service” across Utah. At the core of “Servesteem” is the idea that service—whether small acts or large coordinated projects—strengthens one’s own self-esteem.
You can follow along on her journey through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @missamericaut.