A jazz dance, swim suit, evening gown and good answer helped judges crown the new Miss Dixie.
Shaelie Knutson, a senior communication major from Preston, Idaho, was crowned with one of Dixie State University’s longest-lasting titles, Miss Dixie, Oct. 16.
Knutson will represent DSU in local charity and school events and will serve as Homecoming queen this week. She will also have the chance to compete for the title of Miss Utah.
Knutson said her experience with the pageant was everything she thought it was going to be and more.
“This title means everything to me,” Knutson said. “I have wanted this forever, so it is hard for me to believe that it actually happened.”
Knutson performed a jazz dance for her talent, and that is what she believes helped her win.
“Dancing is just part of who I am,” Knutson said. “I think the judges could tell that I am passionate about it.”
Passion is what other women think Knutson will bring to DSU for Homecoming.
“She has just such a strong love for the school and for the people who attend here,” former Miss Dixie Krissia Beatty said.
Teysia Slater, a junior elementary education major from Pleasant Grove and runner-up, agreed with Beatty.
“Shaelie is so outgoing and loves everything that she does,” Slater said. “She is fun to be with and brings so much energy to everything she does.”
Slater was first attendant, Jessica Jensen was second, Kelby Morrison was third, and Lauren Randall was fourth.
The event ran smoothly, just like the organizers planned. Student director Megan Church, a senior biology major from St. George, did not realize how much work goes into putting together a pageant.
The Miss Dixie Pageant has been held every year since 1951 and is one of the longest running traditions at the school.
“This is my favorite tradition of Homecoming,” Church said. “We get to find someone who will represent the school in a positive way.”
The Cox Auditorium was full of students and community members cheering on their favorite contestants. The energy from the crowd added to the experience of the pageant.
“The show is great with just the girls,” Church said. “But when the crowd gets into it, it just makes it so much better.”
Knutson is looking forward to reigning and representing DSU and said she is going to continue to work hard to be the best representative for the school.
“This just shows that hard work really does pay off,” Knutson said. “I look forward [to] serving as Miss Dixie [for] the coming year.”