Cary, NC – The Ms. Tourism USA pageant finds women across the country to highlight their state and promote travel. And this year, North Carolina’s representative is a Cary resident who promotes health through dance.
Promoting North Carolina
Bethanie Mickles won the North Carolina leg of the Ms. Tourism competition after previously winning for Wake County in December 2016.
“The pageant promotes charity and tourism. I do a lot of traveling so it seemed like a perfect fit for me,” Mickles said.
While Mickles was born in Virginia, she went to law school at North Carolina Central and graduated summa cum laude. After graduating, she ended up staying in the Triangle and Cary in particular.
“There is a lot of diversity here so you can have a slice of the world in one big city but then you can drive a few miles and find a small town where everyone knows everyone else,” Mickles said. “So it’s the best of both worlds.”
Another thing Mickles said she likes about the state and the region, as reflected in her performance and answers in the Ms. Tourism North Carolina competition, are the number of events going on.
“Every weekend there is some kind of festival or big, fun thing to do,” Mickles said. “I have never been bored here and that is very different from my home town.”
And Mickles also said the weather is a big positive.
Preparing and Performing
The Ms. Tourism competition follows many traditional beauty pageant components: there is an interview and talent portion, as well as a Western wear, fitness wear and evening gown segment. Overall, Mickles described it as a wonderful experience.
“Pageants get a bad rap but some are fun and uplifting and the Ms. Tourism competition is good for women to show what they love about their home state and community,” Mickles said.
As part of her participation in Ms. Tourism USA, Mickles is continuing to travel around the state promoting her platform “Dance For Your Life.”
“I’m urging people to use dance to better their health,” she said.
Mickles is the creative director at the World of Dance Performing Arts Company and performs dances from all around the world. The next leg of the Ms. Tourism USA competition will pit Mickles against the winners from all other states.
It will not be until 2018 but with her platform and position at World of Dance, Mickles said she will continue to get ready for the pageant.
“I’m able to travel all around the state and I get to do a lot of performing,” she said. “And it will make sure I stay healthy for the competition.”
Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of the Epsilon Kappa Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.