A member of the Wartburg dance team finished in the top 10 in the 2014 Miss Iowa United States Pageant.
Tarron Hansen, from New Hampton, Iowa, placed sixth in the pageant with 47 women competing.
A previous winner in 2013 of the Miss Teen Iowa United States Pageant, Hansen set her sights on the next step in her career, The Miss Iowa Pageant.
While she missed being in the top five, Hansen was glad she got to that point and was making sure to have fun in the process. Meeting new friends and gaining connections to modeling agencies was all part of the process, Hansen said. She also said participating
gives her confidence and leads her to try to be a role model for others.
“As a titleholder you also empower women, and I truly believe that will be a key to success for women around the world,” Hansen said.
While the pageant is done, Hansen will be working with her pageant coach, Cheri Kennedy, in her free time. Kennedy, a former Miss North Dakota USA winner and competitor for the Miss USA crown, has been a pageant coach for 19 years and has been coaching Hansen for four years.
Known around the world as one of the best, Kennedy has been Hansen’s “lifesaver,” Hansen said.
Kennedy has the most wins in the pageant world and is also like her second mom, Hansen said.
Kennedy called working with Hansen an absolute pleasure and said she has no doubt that Hansen has what it takes to someday be Miss Iowa USA.
“It’s tremendous fun. She’s definitely a go-getter and she’s a great spirit,” Kennedy said. “She’s beautiful in her modeling. Her modeling is perfection.”
In the Miss USA pageants, women are judged on three aspects: swimsuit modeling, evening gown modeling and a two-part interview.
The interview is separated into one private and one on-stage interview, Kennedy said.
One reason victory eluded Hansen in this year’s pageant was something that just takes time, Kennedy said.
Stage presence is often times the thing that can be improved on the most to achieve a win, Kennedy said.
“I think it’s going to take a little more time to mature, “ Kennedy said. “I think what we would work on is the interview.”
Former Wartburg student and 2012 Miss Teen Iowa USA winner Carissa Becker agreed with Kennedy.
“I personally think that a lot of it comes down to interview because that is something that sets most people apart. Obviously everyone competing is going to be gorgeous and have a great swimsuit body. The winner is usually the girl who has the ‘whole package,’” Becker said.
Hansen was the youngest of all the competitors and said she can’t wait to go back and compete next year. She also wants to make sure she has fun at school as well though, Hansen said.
“My plans now are to continue school and the dance team. As of now, I won’t be competing again until next October for this pageant again,” Hansen said.