Jemison girl prepares for Miss Alabama Teen USA

Published 10:48 am Friday, September 16, 2011

The 2011 Peach Pageant has come and gone, but Ciara Dismukes, 14, of Jemison, is not yet finished with her pageant participation.

With about five years of pageant experience under her belt, Dismukes is preparing for the Miss Alabama Teen USA Pageant preliminaries in January 2012.

This year, she competed in Miss Junior Peach at Clanton’s Peach Festival, Miss JHS and the Heart of Dixie Pageant in Jemison.

Dismukes was third alternate in Heart of Dixie.

“I absolutely love them,” Dismukes said of the pageants. “They’re pretty much my sport.”

Dismukes sings, but Miss Alabama Teen USA does not include a talent portion. The two-day pageant consists of an interview with the judges, a swimsuit competition and an evening gown competition.

“Per week, I probably spend about three hours just practicing the walk and poses,” Dismukes said. “That doesn’t include exercising and watching what I eat.”

Dismukes said she is also honing her public speaking skills.

“I don’t use fillers like ‘um,’” she said. “That’s a big part of how teens speak every day.”

With her parents’ help, Dismukes has coached herself for the pageant.

“This one takes a lot more preparing for it,” she said of Miss Alabama Teen USA. “You don’t have as much time to prepare for (the others). I guess just making sure I won’t trip is the biggest part.”

Dismukes said her family helped her raise sponsorship money around the community, and her friends have been supportive as well.

“We had a lot of support with the sponsorship,” she said. “My friends are asking me every day how it’s going.”

The Miss Alabama Teen USA Pageant will be a televised event Jan. 27 and 28 at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center in Montgomery.