Home Lifestyle Center Stage: Local teen to represent Richmond County in state beauty pageant

Center Stage: Local teen to represent Richmond County in state beauty pageant

Local high school senior Allie Miller will compete in the Miss North Carolina Teen USA Pageant later this month. (Contributed photo by the Miller family.)

ROCKINGHAM — When Allie Miller went prom dress shopping last spring, little did she know she’d walk out with more than just a new look.

A senior at Richmond Senior High School, Miller has immersed herself in the world of teenage beauty pageantry over the past year.

Later this month she will represent Richmond County and compete in her second pageant, the Miss North Carolina Teen USA event.

“Last February I went to buy a prom dress and the manager at the store told me how beautiful I was and asked if I’d ever been in a pageant,” Miller, 17, said. “I’d never really thought about it, but I decided I just wanted to go for it.”

With the help of her parents, Dwayne and Renee Miller, Allie got involved and began working with Brittany DiCello at the end of her junior year. A former Miss North Carolina Teen USA, DiCello has over two decades of experience as a pageant coach.

“Brittany is a great coach and she’s taught me a lot since I started,” Miller shared. “We started with the basics like the right techniques and how to walk and do turns on stage. Her biggest thing is to make sure I always keep a smile on my face.”

Last July, Miller participated in her first pageant in Orlando, Fla., the East Coast Princess America Teen Pageant. She was awarded two recognitions — the “Making the Difference” and “Be Your Best Self” awards.

In January, Miller was one of over 100 girls selected to model this year’s variety of prom dresses at An Affair to Remember in Fayetteville.

“The best part of being in pageants is meeting new people, it’s something I really enjoy,” Miller said. “It’s also very exciting to be up on stage and having the spotlight on me.

“It can also be nerve-racking, too, but that’s part of the excitement. It was a lot of fun being on such a big runway to show off the new prom dresses.”

Miss Richmond County Teen USA Allie Miller. (Contributed photo by the Miller family.)

At the Miss North Carolina Teen USA Pageant, Miller will compete against other teen contestants (under the age of 19) and be judged in three main categories — athletic wear, evening gown and an interview.

No talent section will be a part of this competition, but Miller’s is dancing, which she’ll participate in the pageant’s opening number.


Set to wear a pink dress by Ashley Lauren, Miller said the evening gown portion is her favorite because “everything slows down and I’m able to take in the whole moment.”

As Miss Richmond County Teen USA, Miller has been taking her preparation for her upcoming pageant seriously. 

She’s spent hours with DiCello, as well as practicing her runway technique at King’s Gate Church. Miller has also had professional photos made to help promote the event.

The most challenging part for her, she said, is the interview portion, which will account for roughly 25 percent of Miller’s final score. 

Using partners to practice her responses, questions range from topics about real world issues with teens and social media to more lighthearted questions about celebrity crushes and what Miller most enjoys about pageants.

RPM Productions, an affiliate of the Miss Universe Organization, will be responsible for judging the Miss North Carolina Teen USA Pageant. The field of contestants will be narrowed down to the top five, who will then answer interview questions on stage in front of the audience.

There is also a people’s choice portion of the voting, which can help Miller or other contestants win a separate award.

Attaching her home county to her name is a badge that Miller carries with honor.

“Representing Richmond County means a lot to me,” Miller said. “I get a chance to show what our community is all about. It’s a big honor and hopefully this experience will provide a lot of good experiences for the rest of my life.

“I really want to empower other girls of all ages and show them that this is something they can do and is something they can pursue,” she concluded. “I’m grateful to be a part of this community and glad to have the chance to compete.”

Adding that it would be “pretty cool” to win, Miller said she’s excited to make new lifelong friendships. After high school, she plans to go to cosmetology school and open her own salon.

The Miss North Carolina Teen USA Pageant will be held at the High Point Theater on Feb. 24 and 25.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.