National Dance Day

Dancing has been a big part of my life ever since I was a little girl. I have been taking classes since I was two, have always loved being on the “big stage”, and have spent the past 6 years as a competitive dancer in both regional and nation dance competitions and in pageants. To say I love this sport is an understatement! Here are my biggest reasons why I love being a dancer:

1- It keeps me physically fit. Anyone that says that dance isn’t a sport has clearly not tried it! It takes a combination of endurance, strength, flexibility, and grace to perform well.
2- I have made so many friends and gained so many mentors throughout my dance career. I’ve had several teachers make a big impact on my life, and I’ve made lifelong friendships through the dance studio.
3- It has taught me patience, perseverance, and how to set goals for myself. You have to be patient with yourself, have to persevere to learn new skills, and it helps you overcome obstacles through goal setting. I’ve been able to apply these skills to many other aspects of my life!
4- It has showed me how to work effectively on a team through collaboration. Being in a dance with a large group of people takes a lot of work! It requires communication and compromise to be a great team!
5- Lastly, dancing is FUN! It gives me an opportunity to be creative, let loose, and enjoy myself. I’m grateful for this outlet that I’m lucky enough to call my favorite sport and hobby.

I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to dance! I love being a part of the studio family at Rock City Dance Center, and I’m very grateful for all of the skills, memories, and friends that I have gained from participation in this sport!

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Parfait Party Cone

At the Fuel Up to Play 60 Ambassador Summit, Quaker Oats sponsored a cook off challenge for all of the students to participate in. The only requirements were that it had to have oats, a dairy product, and a fruit or vegetable. My team came up with the Parfait Party Cone, and we think it was delicious! It’s easy to prepare, is appealing to kids, great for breakfast or a snack, and it is nutritious! Here’s the ingredients:

-Yogurt (Greek or regular- we had both!)
-Strawberries
-Blueberries
-Granola (we made ours from oats but you can buy it from the store)
-Chocolate (we used the kind that’s designed for dipping strawberries but you can also melt chocolate chips)
-Waffle or Sugar Ice Cream Cones

1- Mix the fruits into the yogurt
2- dip the rim of the cone into the melted chocolate then roll in granola while wet
3- put the yogurt in the cone

This recipe is super simple yet really tasty! It is kid friendly and easy to take on the go. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Pinnacle Mountain

One of my favorite things to do is climb Pinnacle Mountain with friends! One of the nicest things about living in the Natural State is having so many beautiful outdoor options for physical activity. Even though some areas don’t have as many as Arkansas, there are always options based on your state’s geography. It could be snow skiing, walks on the beach, hiking in the mountains, or swimming in lakes or rivers! It is great to take advantage of where you live and don’t forget to #BeProactiveGetActive!

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Little Rock Fashion Week

I had a great time last Friday at LRFW’s Bare Show! My mom and I went to not just watch the show but to see Kelsey Theall, Miss Arkansas International and my sister queen, host the event! The models wore no makeup, had very natural hairstyles, and modeled simple yet fashionable clothing. It was called Bare because the models were just being themselves without the hair, makeup, and extravagant wardrobe that most models would have in a fashion show. It was very inspiring! We were challenged to go about our regular activities for the day with a bare face and simple hair. I accepted that challenge today! Although cosmetics are good and there is nothing wrong with fixing your hair, sometimes it is good to just embrace your natural beauty and let it shine through to the world! Be brave and be bare for a day!

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Fuel Up to Play 60 Summit

I had such an incredible week at the FUTP60 National Student Ambassador Summit! I’ve been working with this incredible organization on and off since I was in elementary school, so it was a huge honor to be able to attend the summit.

I was teamed up with 9 of funniest, kindest, and most genuine teens from across the nation! Team 1 truly made my experience the best. We even became like a little family and called ourselves Ohana (like in Lilo and Stitch!)

Cole from Arizona, Rachel from New York, me, Chris from Texas, Frank from Minnesota, Eliza from Utah, Emma from Virginia, Evonna from Connecticut, Nicole from Florida, and Rylie from Indiana!

Cole from Arizona, Rachel from New York, me, Chris from Texas, Frank from Minnesota, Eliza from Utah, Emma from Virginia, Evonna from Connecticut, Nicole from Florida, and Rylie from Indiana!

We had an extremely busy schedule while in Dallas! We had dozens of seminars with several leaders from organizations like FUTP60, the National Dairy Council, the NFL, GenYouth, Adventure Capital, and SAP. I learned more on how to implement healthy meal programs and physical activity programs in schools, why it is so crucial to be healthy, and how to effectively lead your peers! I have LOTS of great info for health tips in the future so stay tuned!

One of the coolest parts about the summit was that four NFL players came to talk to us about leadership and healthy lifestyles as well as playing some flag football with us! It was an amazing opportunity to talk with these celebrities!

Jason McCourty from the Tennessee Titans and Devin McCourty from the New England Patriots! (and yes, they are twins!)

Jason McCourty from the Tennessee Titans and Devin McCourty from the New England Patriots! (and yes, they are twins!)

David Bruton from the Denver Broncos! He told us all about his Super Bowl experience and how cool it is playing with Peyton Manning.

David Bruton from the Denver Broncos! He told us all about his Super Bowl experience and how cool it is playing with Peyton Manning.

Getting sassy and fierce with St. Louis Rams player Johnny Hekker!

Getting sassy and fierce with St. Louis Rams player Johnny Hekker!

We spent one of our days at the summit at AT&T stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys! We had the entire stadium to ourselves and at the end of the day we attended an expo ON THE FIELD! Words cannot even describe how magnificent that stadium is, and the big screen on the field was probably the coolest thing ever. I met another football player, some of the cheerleaders, and former player Troy Aikmon!

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders! Do I fit right in?(:

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders! Do I fit right in?(:

Kyle Wilber, the Cowboys Line Backer!

Kyle Wilber, the Cowboys Line Backer!

Didn't get a picture with the incredible Troy Aikmon, but it was a pleasure speaking with him!

Didn’t get a picture with the incredible Troy Aikmon, but it was a pleasure speaking with him!

The summit had a special contest called YouthTalks where students could choose between 3 categories to present a 3-5 minute speech to over 400 leaders with the GenYouth foundation and to all of the students at the summit. In my category, I finished in 3rd place! Keep in mind that I prepared the speech less than 24 hours before I had to present it, and over 10o students entered the contest. I was very pleased with myself! It was great practice and I look forward to public speaking opportunities in the future.

Jake won the contest and Alyssa was first runner up! I had some crazy good competition in my category!

Jake won the contest and Alyssa was first runner up! I had some crazy good competition in my category!

Quaker Oats sponsored a cook-off for each team. We were generously donated all of the cooking equipment we needed as well as $350 gift cards to shop for ingredients to feed at least 50 people. The only requirements were to use Quaker oats, one dairy product, and a fruit or vegetable. My team came up with the Parfait Party Cone! Stay tuned for the recipe. We think it was DELICIOUS!

Parfait Party Cones!

Parfait Party Cones!

I met students from 43 different states while at the summit. I made friendships that will last a lifetime, and we have also created a network. We plan to use this connection to not only implement our great ideas and plans into our own school/community/state, but also spread our programs NATIONWIDE. I know this network will come in handy as I grow my program of Be Proactive, Get Active! Regardless of whether I win Miss Teen International, I absolutely plan to promote my platform nationally and internationally.

No one had been to Arkansas, but they were all excited to be temporarily crowned Miss Teen Arkansas International queens(:

No one had been to Arkansas, but they were all excited to be temporarily crowned Miss Teen Arkansas International queens(:

Thank you FUTP60 for one of the best weeks I’ve ever had! The tools and knowledge I gained this week will make a tremendous difference as I continue to educate and promote awareness of the childhood obesity epidemic!

“Free” food day

This Friday Chick Fil A, Krispy Kreme, and 7-11 are all offering certain items for free or at a discounted price. Although it may not cost you much money, it definitely won’t be “free”. There are 190 calories in one glazed doughnut (and let’s face it, no one just eats one!), 130 calories in a small Slurpee, and 440 in a plain chicken sandwich (not including dipping sauces, fries, or a drink). And in case those numbers didn’t scare you away from these offers, there are 11 grams of fat in one donut and and 18 grams of fat in a chicken sandwich. Those 29 grams are the majority of a person’s recommended daily fat intake! THIS OFFER IS NOT WORTH IT! It may be tempting, but don’t forget to #BeProactiveGetActive when driving past these restaurants tomorrow!

Planning Ahead

One of the easiest yet most underestimated health tips is planning in advance!
One thing I always try to do is look at my schedule for the week and pick a time to exercise. That way it is on my schedule and I am much more likely to commit to it. Sunday I worked out at 9 PM and yesterday I exercised mid-morning. Because I knew when I was busy at certain points in the day, I was able to find a time that worked for me to be active those days.
Another thing you can do at the beginning of the week is look at your schedule and make sure you have time/access to healthy food choices. If I know I won’t be home for a long time I will pack a healthy snack to eat while I’m out. Or if I know I won’t be home in time to prepare a healthy meal, I will cook something earlier and all I will have to do is heat it up.
This is a simple technique that will tremendously help you avoid being stuck without nutritious choices! Don’t forget to plan plan plan!