There's real substance to the notion that every woman is different. No two person's attitudes, bodies, or goals in life are ever exactly the same. But if there's one thing that every person shares, it's that our bodies change as we get older. That's especially true for females over the age of 50. One day you wake up, roll out of bed, and attack the day with vigor and positivity.
The next day, it seems like your emotions are out of control. Despite dieting and healthy life choices, your weight won't go down. It seems like you're having to deal with uncomfortable hot flashes every other hour of the day. Life can be hard after 50, especially when it seems like your body is plotting against you.
But the truth is, these changes are a completely normal part of the aging process for women. As you might be aware, this change is called menopause, and according to the NIH, more than one million women go through it every year. This change in life marks the end of your period. During this time, your hormones begin to deplete, causing a range of symptoms that can be difficult to deal with without professional help. Some of the most common symptoms of menopause include:
Trying to juggle and cope with the symptoms of hormone deficiency can be rough for women and their partners because many of them are linked to nutrition, stress, and lack of exercise.
Fortunately, getting older and going through menopause doesn't have to be the worst time in your life. Hormone replacement therapy for women in Gotha, FL, can help correct the imbalances in your body that are brought on by menopause. These safe, proven treatments from NV Medical Orlando can help balance your hormones during menopause and even help you reclaim your youth.
As a locally owned and operated shutter business, doing right by our customers is our top priority. We know that there are many options out there, so we at the Shutter Shop specialize in providing our customers the highest quality product at the most reasonable price.
We're able to offer impeccable customer service and high-quality shutters and blinds at low prices because, unlike others, we are the manufacturers. That means everything you order from the Shutter Shop is made right here in Georgetown, FL by our talented team. We're proud to say that products made here at The Shutter Shop are shipped to builders and homeowners all across the United States.
It all started when Shawn Reardon, The Shutter Shop's sole owner, and his wife moved from Santee to Georgetown in 2003. They were new to the ins and outs of shutters but wanted to start up a new business on the coast of South Carolina. They started out manufacturing plantation shutters only and a couple years later began manufacturing all exterior window coverings also.
At NV Medical Orlando, our HRT treatments for women include the use of pellets, which are about the size of a tic-tac and contain hormones like estrogen and testosterone. These pellets are implanted subcutaneously to supply your body with the hormones it needs. Each pellet contains a tiny number of bioidentical hormones that are released steadily into your bloodstream for up to five months.
Unlike other sexual health centers, every HRT treatment provided by our women's sexual health clinic is tailored to our patients. While natural hormone replacement therapy is effective for many women, every patient is different. That's why it's important that you speak with a board-certified doctor, like Gina Kirkpatrick, before starting any HRT treatment to make sure it's right for you.
When a woman's hormones are balanced, there's a better chance that she will be able to live a happy, normal life. That's where the beauty of HRT for women begins to unfold because it balances hormones in your body that would otherwise be disrupted due to menopause.
HRT treatments for women are revolutionary in that they allow you to enjoy life without suffering through all the pitfalls associated with getting older. However, at NV Medical Orlando, our team understands that no two women have the same bodies or hormone imbalances. That's why our board-certified and fellowship-trained urologist, Gina Kirkpatrick, D.O., provides personalized HRT therapy options for women.
Is HRT treatment from NV Medical Orlando the answer to your mood, weight, and exhaustion problems? That's the million-dollar question we get almost every day. And honestly, it's difficult to say until we can see you in our office and conduct a thorough examination. What we can say is that when your hormones are balanced optimally during menopause, you have a much better chance of living a normal life without the overwhelming symptoms that many women experience.
At NV Medical Orlando, we prioritize helping women balance their hormones to live healthy, fulfilling lives. Our HRT therapy options aren't just about getting you on a regimen - it's about giving your body the nutrition and love it deserves through a patient-first approach.
Unlike some clinics that rush their patients into therapy, our team focuses on our patient's needs and goals first. To achieve those goals, we conduct thorough blood tests and comprehensively examine your health during your first visit. That way, we can discover your underlying problems, determine your hormone levels, and get a better sense of your needs.
After that, our dedicated physician will develop a personalized treatment plan for you. The goal of this plan is to outline your HRT journey so that we can balance your hormones and your whole body. During this process, we'll keep a close eye on your hormone replacement therapy for women in Gotha, FL. Like a web, HRT therapy covers several facets of female health. Each piece of that web works in tandem with others to make up how you feel. If we need to tweak aspects of your plan to help you feel better, we'll let you know and will adjust accordingly.
At the end of the day, we want you to feel safe, empowered, and like you're part of our family. After all, true HRT for women doesn't just balance hormones - it optimizes wellbeing and health, too. That's why NV Medical Orlando is dedicated to giving you a one-of-a-kind experience and specialized care, so you'll never feel like you're falling through the cracks.
Up to this point, we've talked about all the greatness that can come with HRT from NV Medical Orlando - but what are the actual benefits? Let's take a look.
Most women who consider natural hormone therapy are curious about its benefits and the results of long-term clinical investigations. Who wouldn't be? When it comes to the symptoms of menopause, natural estrogen therapy can be incredibly effective for conditions like lack of sleep, weight gain, excessive sweating, mood swings, and more.
In addition to promoting overall health, HRT for women can help reverse sexual symptoms of menopause, like vaginal dryness and general discomfort during intercourse.
When used as part of a comprehensive preventive healthcare plan, HRT can be an invaluable tool for women. That's because hormone therapies like estrogen treatment have been shown in clinical investigations to reduce the risk of serious concerns like osteoporosis and bone loss.
But that's just the start. Clinical studies report a wide range of HRT benefits, including:
To learn more about the benefits of HRT and whether treatment is right for you, contact our office today. If you're ready to feel better about getting older, NV Medical Orlando is here to help you every step of the way.
As we mentioned earlier, no two women will have the same hormone levels or HRT therapy needs. As such, every woman's timeline for menopause relief will be different. Generally, however, a standard HRT timeline may look like this:
Around week one, many women notice that they experience fewer hot flashes than normal. Some women notice these improvements only a few days after their first treatment.
After about two to three weeks of HRT for women in Gotha, FL, many women notice that they have less irritability, anxiety, and fewer mood swings. During this phase, hot flashes should continue diminishing, and sleep may improve. Other benefits of HRT, like increased libido and more energy, are also expected during this phase.
Starting around weeks three to four, many HRT patients will notice drastic improvements in menopausal symptoms.
Around weeks five and six, it's common for women to notice physical differences like healthier skin, less hair loss, and even weight loss. With time, these improvements become even more pronounced.
At NV Medical Orlando, we don't only treat our patients for sexual health and wellness. Because Dr. Gina Kirkpatrick is a fellowship-trained urologist, our clinic has the capacity to treat all matters related to sexual health and wellness, including certain urologic conditions.
Have you started to notice that things âdown underâ are different than they were years ago? Are you experiencing disconcerting symptoms such as:
If you've noticed any of the above symptoms, you may be dealing with vaginal or pelvic floor laxity. For women dealing with these issues, vaginal rejuvenation often answers their problems. Vaginal rejuvenation is an umbrella term that covers several vaginal corrective procedures. These procedures can correct problems that occur after giving birth or during menopause.
Traditionally, these conditions have been treated with invasive surgeries and with supplements like vaginal estrogen or hyaluronic acid. However, modern treatment options like laser vaginal rejuvenation are growing in popularity and can help women avoid the pitfalls of surgery.
In fact, study centers around the world are using monopolar radiofrequency for vaginal laxity in premenopausal women. Studies show that treatment is safe and helps improve vaginal laxity and other sexual dysfunctions. Additionally, anecdotal evidence shows that patients have less urine leakage when coughing, laughing, sneezing, and exercising.
If you're unsatisfied with the appearance of your vagina or have noticed increased looseness or diminished lubrication, don't lose hope. Vaginal rejuvenation, HRT for women in Gotha, FL, or a combo of the two may be right for you.
If you're a woman who finds herself lacking sexual desire or the act of sexual intercourse, you're not alone. In fact, research from 1999 shows that as much as 22% of women in the U.S. report low sex drive. Though this issue is often underreported, its causes and the available treatments are well-known.
Causes of low libido in women include:
Hysterectomies often result in a drastic drop of testosterone and estrogen in a woman's body. This drop in hormones has been linked to low libido.
Some medicines that are used to treat depression and anxiety, specifically SSRIs that inhibit serotonin, have been demonstrated to reduce sexual arousal.
Estrogen affects blood flow to vaginal and genital tissues. Reducing estrogen, which can occur during and after menopause, childbirth or surgical menopause created secondary to a hysterectomy can result in reduced vaginal blood flow and lubrication.
Studies on post-menopausal women have demonstrated that patients in poor health report lower sexual desire. In fact, symptoms like chronic pain, fatigue, and mood swings caused by chronic illnesses all contribute to decreased female libido.
Though low libido and the effects of unbalanced hormones can be concerning, treatment is available at NV Medical Orlando. First, a thorough physical exam and health history will be conducted to help our experts develop an optimal treatment plan for you. During your evaluation, you may be asked to complete a questionnaire that helps us assess your symptoms further. That way, we can craft an appropriate treatment regimen to address your symptoms and concerns.
The type of treatment recommended depends on your identified needs and may include hormone replacement therapy for women, vaginal treatments, oral medications, sexual therapies, or additional treatment regimens.
If you're a woman suffering day-to-day from the symptoms of menopause, now is the time to balance your hormones and reclaim your life. Sure, menopause is a natural process that occurs in almost every woman's body. But that doesn't mean you must forego treatments like HRT to make your transition easier. Who says the second half of your life can't be better than the first?
At NV Medical Orlando, we have helped countless women overcome the life-changing symptoms associated with menopause and hormone imbalances, and we're here for you, too. Contact our office today to schedule your evaluation and take the first step toward long-term relief.407-730-4244
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — For most of 2020, Mery Fernandez has had a sump pump in her living room, constantly pumping water out of her home.What You Need To Know Her family, along with the DeHarts, in recent years have battled rising water levels on Lake Nally in the Gotha community.Now, the homeowners are taking the matter to court, suing four groups, including the state Dep...
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — For most of 2020, Mery Fernandez has had a sump pump in her living room, constantly pumping water out of her home.
Her family, along with the DeHarts, in recent years have battled rising water levels on Lake Nally in the Gotha community.
Now, the homeowners are taking the matter to court, suing four groups, including the state Department of Transportation and Orange County.
“This has never happened," Paul DeHart says, looking out at Lake Nally. "It (water) has never gotten this close to our home, and our neighbor’s home has never flooded in the past.”
DeHart and others on the lawsuit believe the neighboring Braemar development, built after their own homes, and expansion of the Florida's Turnpike-State Road 408 interchange caused the lake levels to rise. That, then, led to flooding.
It’s a theory supported by prior studies but refuted in a county-commissioned study released in September that blamed rain. On September 25, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings spoke about that commissioned study, suggesting families shouldn't be suing the county or roadways.
“There has been some historic flooding problems, that some of the past owners were well aware of," Demings said at the time. "Whether or not they disclosed that to the resident or not, that is something they’ll have to consider in regards to litigation.”
But the DeHarts and Fernandezes say they weren’t aware.
Their suit accuses Orange County, Florida Department of Transportation, the Central Florida Expressway Authority, and the Braemar homeowners association of trespass, negligence, and inverse condemnation — meaning the government took their property without compensation.
“I think we had hope," DeHart says in reference to trying to work things out with the county. "That hope we would come to some agreement or move the resolution down some path.”
Spectrum News 13 asked the county, Turnpike, FDOT, and Braemar for comment on the lawsuit. Only the county responded, saying it would not comment.
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Hurricane Ian made landfall near Fort Myers, Fla., on Sept. 28 as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with major storm surge and sustained winds over 150 miles per hour. Tropical storm force winds and heavy rain continued across central and northeast Florida as the storm shifted northward toward the Carolinas.Brethren Disaster Ministries staff and the Atlantic Southeast District leadership are continuing to reach out to affected churches and communities to learn of the impact of the storm and the needs that have developed.So far th...
Hurricane Ian made landfall near Fort Myers, Fla., on Sept. 28 as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with major storm surge and sustained winds over 150 miles per hour. Tropical storm force winds and heavy rain continued across central and northeast Florida as the storm shifted northward toward the Carolinas.
Brethren Disaster Ministries staff and the Atlantic Southeast District leadership are continuing to reach out to affected churches and communities to learn of the impact of the storm and the needs that have developed.
So far there are no reports of injury among church members, but there is news of minor damage in two churches. While most other churches were unaffected, news has not yet been received from two churches in Fort Myers and Naples, the hardest-hit areas.
As news and assessments of the effect of the hurricane on individuals and communities are received, updates will be announced through Facebook and Newsline.
Children’s Disaster Services
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) volunteers are preparing to deploy to Florida over the weekend, at the request of the American Red Cross. It is anticipated that two CDS teams will serve in the locations with the highest need after the initial chaos of the crisis. These teams will be stationed in shelters to work with the children and families affected by the hurricane. Additional teams will be deployed in Florida and other areas on the southeast coast, if needed.
Please pray… For the Church of the Brethren’s Atlantic Southeast District, its congregations and members, their families, neighbors, and communities affected by Hurricane Ian.
How to help
Brethren Disaster Ministries expects to support the shipping of clean-up supplies and other Church World Service kits as part of the early relief efforts. Staff also will monitor needs for assistance with clean-up efforts in communities where Church of the Brethren congregations are located, while preparing to support long-term recovery efforts in Florida.
Donations can be made to the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) for hurricane response, go to www.brethren.org/givehurricaneresponse.
Clean-up buckets and hygiene kits also are needed, go to https://cwskits.org for lists of kit contents and instructions. Kits should be sent to the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.
Hurricane Fiona made landfall in southwestern Puerto Rico on Sept. 18 as a Category 1 storm, but rain, flooding, and landslides impacted the whole island for many days before and after. In the end, some areas of the island received more than 30 inches of rain that washed out bridges and roads, caused landslides, and flooded homes, streets, and crops.
Puerto Rico’s infrastructure, especially the power grid, has long faced issues that were compounded by damage from Hurricane Maria exactly five years prior, and have not fully recovered. Fiona left an island-wide power outage for the approximately 3.3 million residents. About 80 percent of the power grid has been restored in the last week.
Initial reports from the leadership of the Church of the Brethren’s Puerto Rico District indicate there have been no lives lost among district members, and no homes or churches received major damage. Thankfully, there have so far been no reports of damage to any of the homes repaired or rebuilt after Hurricane Maria. However, there are accounts of destruction to agriculture and blocked roads impacting access and travel, as well as areas–particularly in the mountains–still without water and power.
Each Church of the Brethren continues assessing the impact on and needs of church members. Volunteers have been busy helping to deliver water, clear roads of rocks and trees, and offer what assistance they can to their neighbors. District leadership and Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have been active on coordination calls with the Puerto Rico VOAD to monitor the situation across the island and to share information.
After swamping Puerto Rico, Hurricane Fiona continued west-northwest across the eastern edge of the Dominican Republic, producing heavy rains that caused landslides, road destruction, and damage or destruction of bridges. More than 2,500 homes were affected, displacing 12,000 people, the majority of whom lived in substandard housing. Brethren Disaster Ministries continues to monitor this situation through the connection with the Dominican Church of the Brethren and other local partners.
In response to Hurricane Fiona, an EDF grant of $5,000 was made to support Puerto Rico District in providing water and other emergency needs in the communities around the churches.
For example, on Sept. 29 volunteers from the Río Prieto congregation, located in the western mountains, along with district disaster coordinator José Acevedo, prepared hot meals to distribute in their community along with bottled water. The adult volunteers, led by pastor Carmen Mercado, were assisted by youth and young children who are learning the importance of service to others. Brethren Disaster Ministries will be working with district leadership to develop plans for additional relief and recovery programming.
— Roy Winter is executive director of Service Ministries for the Church of the Brethren, including Brethren Disaster Ministries and other programs. Also contributing to this article were Sharon Franzén, of the Brethren Disaster Ministries office, and Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services.
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Brenda Crenshaw, founder of The Crenshaw School, is now embarking on a new journey as owner and founder of Crenshaw Academy.THE CRENSHAW ACADEMYLocation: 2342 Hempel Ave., GothaWebsite: Click herePhone number: (407) 757-2241Facebook: Click hereThe Crenshaw School, formerly owned ...
Brenda Crenshaw, founder of The Crenshaw School, is now embarking on a new journey as owner and founder of Crenshaw Academy.
The Crenshaw School, formerly owned by Crenshaw, has become Pluris Academy, a new and separate entity led by separate owners at a different location.
Crenshaw remains with Crenshaw Academy at the same address at 2342 Hempel Ave. in Gotha.
The school sits on 8 acres of property and houses about 15,000 square feet.
Crenshaw said she continues her philosophy of engendering respectful and collaborative relationships throughout the community, at home and at school.
“They are not here to serve us; I am here to serve our families,” Crenshaw said. “We’ve been told by our parents we are one of the best-kept secrets in Orlando. We want to keep giving that gift to people because it’s our passion. It’s what we love to do.”
FULFILLING A MISSION
Crenshaw Academy is a private college preparatory school welcoming students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
The school is near capacity for the year with more than 100 students and 11 teachers.
Crenshaw will continue to run the academy with the help of Principal Tanya Williams, who has been with the school since 2004.
Williams said Crenshaw works the most out of any of the staff and is the main reason she has stayed at the school for so long.
“Definitely the love that I have for her is incredible,” Williams said. “Beyond just following her and her husband, it’s the kids. No matter what grade they are or where they’re from I have the ability to connect with them. It’s my favorite thing.”
Crenshaw said she believes teaching is the mission God gave her.
“It’s just what I do; it’s my makeup,” she said.
Crenshaw developed innovative techniques and an out-of-the-box approach to teaching while working as a private instructor to Justin Timberlake and Lance Bass.
During this time, she also privately tutored students from other private and public schools like Lake Highland Preparatory School and The First Academy.
Through her experience and passion, Crenshaw said she developed her own program.
The program includes aspects such as keeping the class size small for core academics, teaching with learning styles that meet the needs of different students and maintaining a line of open communication with the student’s parents.
When Crenshaw founded her first school, it originally began in two side rooms of a gym. The school later moved into a small church in Orlando.
Within three years, that school had maxed out the building limit of 100 people and moved onto the Windermere Community Church property where the school used portables.
“Over the years, our walls have changed and grown to accommodate our current students but the essence of the school remains the same: we continue to offer students a distinctive learning environment through an established program of educational innovation,” Crenshaw said. “Our graduates are accepted to universities all over the world, including medical schools, and several former students have already received their master’s degrees. Many of our students were able to jump-start their careers in the film and entertainment industry as professionals, as well as become pro athletes due to our designer program.”
In the future, Crenshaw said she hopes to implement more programs to serve a greater variety of learning abilities.
Frustrated by government inaction, two families in Gotha who have endured three years of severe flooding around their homes want a court’s help to permanently fix the problem.“We tried to work it out with the county,” said Paul DeHart, one of the plaintiffs who have sued Orange County.He and wife Stacey bought their $850,000 home near Lake Nally in 2017 and now hold their breath whenever it rains.The couple and neighbors Juan and Yumeris “Mery” Fernandez, who were forced to abandon their flo...
Frustrated by government inaction, two families in Gotha who have endured three years of severe flooding around their homes want a court’s help to permanently fix the problem.
“We tried to work it out with the county,” said Paul DeHart, one of the plaintiffs who have sued Orange County.
He and wife Stacey bought their $850,000 home near Lake Nally in 2017 and now hold their breath whenever it rains.
The couple and neighbors Juan and Yumeris “Mery” Fernandez, who were forced to abandon their flooded home in 2019, lay blame on county government in separate lawsuits filed last week by Orlando attorney J. Christy Wilson, who did not return phone messages for comment. The lawsuits also name as co-defendants the Central Florida Expressway Authority, the state Department of Transportation and the Braemar/Gotha Homeowners Association.
The properties in west Orange County near where the Florida Turnpike meets S.R. 408 sit in the Gotha drainage basin, which historically had “high water events,” but usually recovered quickly.
Heavy rains in the fall of 2019 wrecked the Fernandez’s home and forced worried neighbors to seek answers.
Lake Nally isn’t connected to any natural streams or other passages to help move water when the lake reaches capacity. The lake’s level relies on evaporation or groundwater seepage.
At a virtual meeting in September, engineering experts estimated a fix would cost between $5 million and $9 million.
“I’m not sure any of the solutions are easy,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said, noting costs and regulatory rules.
The lawsuits seek damages from all three public governments saying they created or aggravated the flooding issues.
The filings allege the county’s construction of Morton Jones Road created a berm which has functioned like a dam and blocked the natural flow of water into Fischer Lake and diverted it to Lake Nally, contributing to more frequent overflows.
The lawsuits also allege that expansion of the Turnpike-State Road 408 interchange has caused lake levels to rise and turned the properties into wetlands because of “constant inundation.”
They also allege landscapers for neighboring Braemar, formerly known as Gotha /Estates, may be to blame as well.
“Instead of removing growth that is cut, landscaping companies retained [to cut trees and other vegetation] have routinely dumped the cut material into the lake illegally, filling the lake and further diminishing its storage capacity,” the lawsuits claim.
When trees and yard waste are dumped in the lake, it loses storage depth and holds less water.
While acknowledging the flooding problem — and commissioning a study to find a solution, county officials do not admit blame. State road-building agencies declined to comment on the lawsuits, citing policies against discussing pending litigation.
HOA officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
Nearby Nehrling Gardens, the historic Gotha home and land of pioneering horticulturist Henry Nehrling, has been on flood watch several times in the past three years as lake water spilled over its banks and snaked into the late scientist’s prized bamboo patch.
Nehrling planted the patch above the 100-year flood plain to keep it dry.
But water rose in 2019 to levels above those during the super-soaker hurricanes of Charley, Frances and Jeanne in 2004.
The lawsuits allege rain water containing fertilizer and other chemicals runs from higher-elevation Braemar yards onto the DeHart and Fernandez properties, constituting “a physical invasion and taking of property rights.” The subdivision has 53 homes.
The lawsuits ask for unspecified compensation for property damage, lawyer fees and costs.
Though Lake Nally and other nearby water bodies often rose during summer rainy seasons, the properties have never been identified as part of a flood zone. Dehart told county commissioners his property value was at risk through no fault of his own.
“No one wants to buy a house that has a history of flooding,” he said.
Gotha resident Gracie Dyer only has competed in two pageants, but already, she has punched her ticket to the Miss Florida 2019 competition.An Olympia High alumna and University of Central Florida student, Dyer’s roots are in West Orange. However, it’s her recently acquired title of Miss Manatee that will allow her to compete for the title of Miss Florida 2019.Until now, Dyer only has competed in two other pageants — Miss UCF and Miss Manatee, both of which took place in February. This will be her first time co...
Gotha resident Gracie Dyer only has competed in two pageants, but already, she has punched her ticket to the Miss Florida 2019 competition.
An Olympia High alumna and University of Central Florida student, Dyer’s roots are in West Orange. However, it’s her recently acquired title of Miss Manatee that will allow her to compete for the title of Miss Florida 2019.
Until now, Dyer only has competed in two other pageants — Miss UCF and Miss Manatee, both of which took place in February. This will be her first time competing at Miss Florida, and she’s ready to put her best foot forward.
“I want to have a good time,” said Dyer, 20. “I want to show the state of Florida who I am, who Gracie Dyer is.”
Growing up, Dyer was no stranger to the stage. In fact, it’s where she thrived. She has been performing since she was just 8 years old and a student at Thornebrooke Elementary. Her knack for working the stage and playing different roles continued throughout the rest of her school years.
“I got my start in elementary school and fell in love with it when I saw my friends in a show,” she said. “I decided to get involved, and I’ve done shows ever since. I’ve done dance classes, singing lessons, acting lessons, all of it, but I’ve never been just Gracie Dyer on the stage.”
Even as a senior at UCF, Dyer still makes time for expressing her creative side. She starred alongside her boyfriend in a music video for the song, “Grow Old With You,” by a cappella group VoicePlay earlier this year, and it was at UCF that she first discovered the world of pageants.
“I saw advertisement and the signs around UCF to audition (for Miss UCF),” Dyer said. “I know Miss UCF 1989, Shalisa Sloan James — she’s a family friend. She encouraged me to get involved and said I’d be great for it. (At Miss UCF) we rehearsed from October until the pageant in February. There’s a big opening number. I competed with maybe 13 other girls, and we all got really close while rehearsing for six months for the opening number and practicing our talents.”
Dyer said Miss UCF includes both girls who have experience in the world of pageants and those who don’t. Although she was new to pageants, she earned third runner-up and the recognition of Miss Congeniality. That’s when she decided she might like to compete in more.
When she saw there was another pageant the following weekend — Miss Manatee — Dyer wanted to give it a try. Many county competitions, including Miss Manatee, allow both local and statewide entrants, so Dyer was able to compete.
“It’s all about learning,” she said. “The more you do it, the more you’re going to learn, and the better you’re going to get at it. The next Saturday, we drove to Bradenton, and local pageants are a little different, because they are open statewide.”
It was a daylong affair, from turning in paperwork at 9 a.m. and participating in both interviews and rehearsals. Each girl was allowed to run through her talent twice, and by 3 p.m. it was time to get ready for the competition. Dyer was pleasantly surprised when she ended up taking home the crown.
“I was very calm during the whole thing,” she said. “I felt really good about my performance but didn’t realize I’d done super well, because I hadn’t done (pageants) before. I was very surprised when I was crowned Miss Manatee. I’m very blessed.”
As Miss Manatee, Dyer now will compete in Miss Florida.
“I decided to continue on just because I was so happy and thinking, ‘What? I won?’” she said. “It’s like, ‘This is incredible, what else can I do?’ The scholarship opportunities are even bigger at Miss Florida. And (pageants are) not at all what you believe the stereotype is — there’s no cattiness with the girls. We’re just very supportive of one another.
“I’ve been preparing a lot more for Miss Florida just because it’s so new to me,” she said. “I’m very excited, but I also know this is a big deal.”
I’ve done dance classes, singing lessons, acting lessons, all of it, but I’ve never been just Gracie Dyer on the stage.” - Gracie Dyer
Miss Florida is also a stepping stone to the Miss America competition. And the Miss America organization is rolling out a new and improved version this year, dubbed Miss America 2.0.
As of last year, candidates no longer are judged on outward appearance. This included the elimination of the swimsuit competition, and each candidate can choose her wardrobe for evening wear to express individual style. Candidates also now have more opportunities to advocate for their chosen social impact initiatives.
“That’s super empowering as a young woman today,” she said. “Miss America is the No. 1 provider of scholarships across the country, and I wanted to choose something with animals for my social impact platform. My platform is greyhound awareness, based on the amendment Florida passed. By 2020, there will be (more than) 6,000 greyhounds homeless in Florida, so my platform is raising awareness for adoptions.”
At the competition, candidates are judged on their interview performances, stage presence, talents and more. A lot of preparation is required for success. Dyer will participate in interview preparations, and she has been practicing everything from hair and makeup to her talent. She will sing “100 Easy Ways to Lose a Man” from the musical “Wonderful Town.”
“I’ve been practicing my walk around the house, and I have a lot of fun with that,” she said. “It’s paying attention to all of the little details, because you never know what matters — like practicing your makeup or even how you look when you talk to someone.
“I’m really excited,” she said. “I’m really passionate about my platform, I love performing and singing, and I’m excited to do that in front of the state of Florida.”