What to Look for in a Practice Pageant

Back in the day, contestants did one or maybe two pageants a year. They’d compete in their local pageant, and then 6 months or so later, they’d compete in the state pageant.

That was then; this is now. Today’s contestants often compete multiple times a year. Why? Because when you only compete twice a year, it’s hard to improve your pageant skills. You’re just not competing enough. But to compete more often, you’re probably going to need to consider competing in different pageant systems. Which brings us to the handy topic of What to Look for in a Practice Pageant.

Of course, a practice pageant is a real pageant, but you’re using it to practice and improve your pageant skills. You’re not 100% focused on winning, but if you win that’s perfectly fine too. The goal of a practice pageant is to give you, as they say in sports, a little “court time.” It’s an opportunity to hone your skills and practice managing the stress of competition.

So, how do you pick a practice pageant? Here are some things you should consider when identifying the practice pageant that’s right for you.

1. Interview Style & Length

Ideally, a practice pageant would have the same style of interview as the pageant you’re ultimately competing in. So, if the Miss Fabulous pageant has a 5-minute standing panel interview, you’d look for practice pageants with a 5-minute standing panel interview. Of course, anything from 3 – 5 minutes would be good, but you wouldn’t want to go with a 1 or 2-minute interview or an interview where you’re seated instead of standing.

Interview is the hardest pageant skill to develop and the most difficult to switch from one style to another. So, when you’re looking for a practice pageant, the interview style should be as similar as possible to the style and length of your target title.

2. Modeling Style

Next, on the list of factors to consider is the modeling style of the pageant. Does the pageant crown contestants with a conservative, traditional pageant modeling style? Or is the style more “New York fashion week” with lots of movement and posing? You’re looking for a pageant whose modeling style is as similar as possible to the style of your preferred pageant. Every minute you rack up practicing your modeling skills will pay off with big scores during when you’re competing for your preferred title.

3. Scores

The primary reason for competing in a practice pageant is to improve your pageant skills. But that’s tough to do if you don’t get any feedback on how you did. Sure, if you won you know you did great, but what if you didn’t win? What if you made the Top 10 but not the Top 5? Was it your gown that held you back? Or maybe your fun fashion?

It’s a smart move to find a practice pageant that provides scores. And it’s even better if you’ll also receive judges comments. That way you can analyze your scores, review any comments, and identify where you’re doing well and where you need continued improvement. Armed with this information you can become a stronger contestant. Without it, you’re just guessing. So if you’re considering two different pageants and one provides scores, and the other doesn’t consider going with the one that gives you the information you need to improve.

4. Talent Competition

If your preferred pageant includes a talent competition, then you’ll want to look for that in a practice pageant. Just practicing your talent isn’t going to cut it. You’ve got to practice actually performing it, in front of an audience, where you’re being scored. If you participate on a competitive team through school or regularly compete in talent competitions, you may not need this. But, if you’re not competing your talent in anything besides the pageant, it would be beneficial to select a practice pageant that includes a talent competition.

Practice pageants are great. They allow you to work on your skills and learn how to perform at your best under stress. But instead of just entering any ole’ pageant, take the time to find a practice pageant that includes the same competition elements as your preferred pageant.

After all, they say practice makes perfect, and you’d make a perfect titleholder!