Hi everyone! My name is Mandi Genord, and I’m truly honored to call myself your Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen 2018! I am currently a Junior at Portage High School, where I enjoy taking AP classes in Math and English. Outside of school, I am a very passionate dancer and love to share my knowledge with my dance students!
I want to share with you all about my week at the Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen pageant. I first arrived in the beautiful city of Oshkosh, not knowing exactly what my week entailed. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet so many intelligent and driven girls. When I took my first step into the UW-Oshkosh College dorm building, I knew my next few days would be ones that I remembered forever!
After meeting my roommates, and settling into my dorm room, the real work started to begin. We headed over to the Alberta Kimball Auditorium and started rehearsal with the Miss contestants! After learning our portion of the opening number for prelims that coming night, the reality of competing on the MWIOT stage started to sink in. That night at prelims I felt fortunate to sit with my fellow local titleholders and cheer on the Miss contestants, knowing that I would be competing on that stage in two short days. When we arrived back at the dorm rooms, I went straight to bed knowing that the next morning I would be interviewing to be the next Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen.
My first reaction when my alarm went off (after I thought about hitting the snooze button), was “this is the day.” The judges first impressions of me would be in my personal interview. I felt confident and ready to share my ideas and experiences with this extraordinary panel of judges. After completing my interview, I felt I had done the best that I could have and returned to my room with my nerves finally calming down. The first portion of competition had been completed and the judges met me, Mandi Genord, in a way that they couldn’t on the stage. After another rehearsal and another night of prelims, we returned to our dorm, knowing that tomorrow we would all walk across the MWIOT stage.
After packing my luggage and leaving my dorm room, the Teens and I headed back to the auditorium for one last rehearsal. We then got ready for the princess party, where we crowned and had lunch with some of the smartest little girls I have ever met! We returned back to the dressing room, and began to get ready for the night ahead of us. Before heading backstage for the opening number, we all had a group prayer where we wished for each other’s best and gave thanks for the opportunity to meet one another. We lined up and the show took off, beginning with the opening number.
I completed my fitness routine, walked in my gown and answered my onstage question. However in between these areas of competition we all competed our talent. Beginning to dance at the age of two, I performed a lyrical dance to the song “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical “Les Miserables.” After stretching and walking through the movements of my dance, I took a deep breath and stepped onto the stage. When the spotlight hit me, and I heard my music begin, I felt as if was in my home studio dancing with my dance family. When I finished my piece, I remember smiling. However, I wasn’t smiling because I finished my dance, but instead because I knew that the performance I just gave, was one that I could be proud of. I knew that no matter what happened the rest of the night, I could walk away knowing I did the best that I could.
When it came time for the anouncemennt of top five, I wasn’t nervous. But as soon as they called me in, I felt my heartbeat 10x faster, and my hands start to shake. I was happy to have made it even this far my first time competing at state. When it came down to the final two, I could feel my knees buckle and my hands tighten. And when the next name was called everything went numb and a crown was being pinned into my hair. My legs began shaking and when I took my first step as Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen, I almost fell over. The first people I looked for in the audience were my dance family, who had all come to support me. After giving a few waves and almost falling off the stage a few times, I ran back towards all of the new friends I had made and competed with the last three days.
I feel so fortunate to represent Wisconsin and the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen organization as a state titleholder. Thank you to everyone who has shown me their love and support, to help me achieve this once in a lifetime opportunity. I look forward to inspiring the people of my community, as well as finding inspiration through them! Be sure to follow each of the social media pages and check back to see what I unveil in my coming year as Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen 2018!