by MIKE CHAIKEN
There’s a lot of elbow grease involved if you want things to sparkle and shine.
And the Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen scholarship pageant is no different.
Before the doors opened to a full house at the Mohegan Sun Cabaret on Sunday, the hair was in transition from drab to fab, makeup was lying in wait backstage, the opening number dance steps were waiting for their zing, and the faces of the young girls broadcast their nerves for all to see.
The 16 contestants were up bright and early and in the theater at 9 a.m. Once they arrived, they individually rehearsed their talents for the afternoon competition.
They then took a lunch break of subs and doughnuts (yes, Krispy Kreme for everyone). And some took the time to get some rest. Others used the time to goof around and let off some steam.
After lunch, they were corralled to head to the dressing room to put on their dresses for the opening number. There was some panic and drama when some of the girls were unable to zip up the dresses. But later, safety pins and needle and thread came to the rescue.
When they stepped on to the stage, they went through the choreography, some checking out the steps of the other girls, others clearly working out their steps in their heads.
They did it once, twice, and over again… and then it was on to the routines for each phase of competition. Lifestyle and fitness. Evening gown. And so on.
Finally, with the 3 p.m. curtain looming, they were sent down the long stairs to the dressing room at the cabaret. The reigning Miss Connecticut Colleen Ward and the reigning Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen Sapna Raghavan exited to their own dressing room at stage left to make their final preparations for showtime.
And then at 3 p.m., the lights went down. The elbow grease had made its transformation to sparkle and shine.
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN