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Miss RHS pageant expands, application deadline approaches

Russellville High School’s traditional Miss RHS pageant is adding a new component this year that will incorporate students from the other schools in the system.

Each pageant contestant will have a Little Miss and a Little Sister. A Little Miss will be from kindergarten through fifth grade and will join the contestant on stage for the evening gown portion of the pageant. A Little Sister will be from sixth through eighth grade and will introduce their contestant for the talent portion.

To be a Little Miss or a Little Sister, the student must be asked by a pageant contestant to be involved.

“A lot of young girls have talent but don’t have pageant experience, then they get on stage for Miss RHS and freeze up,” pageant sponsor Cindy Coan explained. “We’re hoping this will get them involved and ease that fear.”

Other than this new aspect, Miss RHS will continue in its usual tradition. Contestants will face a talent portion, an interview portion, an evening gown portion and an optional photogenic portion.

“It’s more than just a beauty walk. It’s the total package,” Coan said.

Historically, Coan said, the pageant has been modeled after state-level pageants, and it serves as a good practice for girls who would like to participate in those in the future.

Senior Emma Claire Bragwell has found that to be true. This will be Bragwell’s fourth year participating in Miss RHS, but she has also participated in Distinguished Young Woman and plans to run for Miss UNA in the future.

“It has helped me with my poise on stage and in life,” she said. “It has boosted my confidence and also helped me with job interviews.”

Bragwell said she wasn’t interested in pageants for a long time, but with her friends’ and family’s encouragement, she decided to step out of her comfort zone and participate in Miss RHS for the first time when she was a freshman. It turned out to be a rewarding decision for her.

“Every year I’ve learned something new,” she said. “I would tell anyone who is interested to step out of their comfort zone and do it because it will help you in life.”

Each grade from ninth through 12th has a winner, but overall Miss RHS comes from the senior class. Usually about 18-25 girls participate, but Coan said there has been an uptick in participation in the past few years.

“We really want to show what these girls are capable of doing,” Coan said.

The deadline to apply is Feb. 4, and that includes the $30 application fee, a wallet-sized publicity picture, a parental permission form and talent information. The deadline for the optional photogenic portion is Feb. 26 and requires a $5 fee. Coan recommends a 5×7 or 8×10 photograph be submitted.

Miss RHS is scheduled for March 1.

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