Megan Shaw is a junior at Washington and Lee University. She is also one of our summer interns. On Monday, she interviewed DaNae Couch, the current Miss Dallas and, as of last weekend, Miss Texas 2012.Â The 23-year-old Baylor grad is now attending law school at Texas Tech. The Q&A is after the jump.
How long have you been in pageants? I first began competing in the Miss Texas and Miss America program during college because I heard it was a great way to earn scholarship money and showcase talent. Having been a Feature Twirler at Baylor University, I thought that it would be a great organization to try out. I quickly learned that the Miss America Organization is the largest scholarship provider for young women in the world. Over the course of competing for the past four years, I have earned close to $30,000 of scholarship money that helped me finish my education at Baylor and started financing my goal of becoming an attorney at Texas Tech.
So how does it feel now, a week later, being Miss Texas? Honestly, it’s still incredibly surreal to be in this position. As more time passes and I talk about my goals and ideas for this year, it begins to set in that I have an incredible opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the Texans that I meet this year. It is truly a blessing and an honor to serve the state in this way and I’m really looking forward to all the experiences I will have this year.
We heard that you dropped your baton at some point in the competition? What happened? What were the thoughts going through your head at that moment? I have been a competitive twirler for 16 years, and in national competitions, dropped batons aren’t scored down as drastically as one might think. For a twirler, it’s all about moving on and doing a fantastic routine – even after something like a drop happens. It’s a great life lesson, actually, because sometimes you have to pick yourself up and keep moving forward even after something unexpected happens.
Is it true that all of the Miss Texas contestants were detained on oneÂ floor of a hotel? With guards in front of your doors? It was a luxury for the contestants as we were kept together on the same floor of our host hotel, and actually, one of my favorite parts of Miss Texas week. Staying together allowed us to focus on the competition instead of getting distracted by our friends, family and supporters. We also were able to develop strong friendships living in such tight quarters together because it was like a big sleepover every night. And yes, we did have a security detail that kept the floor secure.
What’s next for you? Right now, I’m working on my school program which I will be giving across the state of Texas this year. The school program is probably the most visible thing that Miss Texas does. My platform is called “Hope for Family Recovery: Life Beyond Addiction,” and my school program will address drug education, addiction awareness, and recovery resources. I will also be attending Miss America’s Outstanding Teen in Orlando to support Miss Texas’ Outstanding Teen, Margana Wood.
And last, but certainly not least, what toothpaste do you use to keep your pearly whites so … white? I actually get this question quite a bit, and luckily for me, both of my parents are dentists. They help me keep my teeth sparklingly white! As far as my daily habits, I brush two-three times a day with a Sonicare electronic toothbrush and Crest whitening toothpaste and make sure to floss regularly.