GHS Junior Overcoming Stereotypes in Pageants

The World of Perfect


Kierstin Gray

Addison Dauel (24) preforming during a football game.

The pressure is on, but they never dare show it. Dedication brings greatness to the sport, but being a genuine person is the key to success. All across the world, people come together to organize pageants as their way to express how they truly feel. Addison Dauel, a junior at GHS, is no stranger to pageants and what they accurately entail.
She knows that they are not just a place where no one cares about the contestants. In fact, she believes it is the opposite. It’s a place where dreams are made reality because of the support from everyone involved. Life long dreams become reality there. Well, at least they do for Dauel.
“People think we are competing off of each other and that it’s a ‘bad thing’ and that we don’t actually like each other,” Dauel said. “But in reality, we actually love each other and we support each other in such a positive way.”
She wants people to hear her message: acceptance is for all. She believes that positivity should be spread to everyone and in every way possible, and she also has every right to want that word spread. People, especially teenagers, are just straight up mean. That’s the truth. Whether it’s a “why are you so ugly,” comment or people talking about you behind your back, Dauel said she knows that needs to be put to a stop, and fast. Luckily for her, pageantry has allowed her to do it efficiently.
“I want to compete because I want to make a difference, that’s what I’ve always wanted to do,” Dauel said. “I actually created a lunch group for all the individuals with special needs. I’m trying to get them involved as much as possible. My biggest thing is that everyone is welcome.”
The issue of bullying is especially important to Dauel. She has made it part of her pageant agenda. Raising awareness is the key to trying to make things better for all.
As baton twirling is part of Dauel’s talent portion of the pageant, she is used to being the only baton twirler for GHS to her advantage. Throughout the years, Dauel graduated from a “normal” baton twirling routine to performing with a baton that is on fire and throwing multiple batons at a time. And, yes, having the baton on fire, indeed, does hurt her hand. Although twirling has brought challenges, it has still brought her many opportunities.
“When I was in eighth grade, I contacted the band director and I asked him if I could twirl halftime and they said yes,” Dauel said. “But then they got a new band director, and it all changed. I was only allowed to do the pregame for my freshman year. Then, I talked to the athletic director. I remember I was searching for him all throughout the halls, and I could not find him. I finally found him, and I asked him if I could do halftime for basketball; he told me yes.”
Dauel does not always have a coach for baton twirling, so she practices on her own and creates her own routines. When she performs her routines, she leaves people’s jaws dropped. Out of curiosity, she has people coming up to her wanting to know more about her and her story.
“I talked to her (Dauel) at one of the football games and she was telling me about how she was the only baton twirler for Gretna,” freshman Kate Gudenrath said. “We asked her questions about it and she was so willing to answer and so genuine.”
Perfect posture with a perfect smile and perfect voice is demanded to get the perfect score in pageants. Dauel is set to succeed in her future of pageantry because of her being so genuine. She makes a point to be there for anyone, no matter what. It doesn’t matter what anyone looks like, how “different” they think they are or what medical diagnosis they have, Dauel tries her best to make them feel included. Acceptance is for all, and the world is a better place because of Dauel spreading her message.