As a man, aging can bring about different emotions and experiences. For some, it's an exciting time when they get to enjoy the fruits of their labor without any stress. However, for others, it can be a scary prospect filled with exhaustion, depression, and sexual dysfunction. If you're over the age of 40 and have noticed decreased sex drive, irritability, and other unusual symptoms, don't despair. You may be suffering from a common issue that affects nearly 14 million men in the USA: low testosterone.
The good news is that low testosterone (also called low T) can be treated with relative ease. NV Medical Gotha provides TRT in Gotha, FL, to help men like you enjoy a fulfilling life without the debilitating symptoms of low testosterone. With our team of experts by your side, you can change the trajectory of your life one step at a time.
Like any new activity or medical procedure, it helps to have a strong foundation of knowledge before treatment. Before you make an appointment for testosterone replacement therapy testing, it pays to know a little about testosterone itself.
When people hear the word "testosterone," they often associate it with overly aggressive or macho men. However, testosterone really has little impact on a man's masculinity, at least from a social standpoint. Rather, testosterone plays a much more important role in male development, from puberty to the end of life.
As the primary androgen, testosterone helps men develop typical male characteristics and is vital for the production of sperm. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus in the body control testosterone, and it helps men develop and maintain various functions such as:
As men age, they may experience lower levels of testosterone, also known as low T. This natural decline in testosterone can also be caused by drug abuse, obesity, prescribed medications, or testicle injuries. When testosterone levels decrease, it can affect the body's balance of testosterone and estrogen, leading to an increase in abdominal fat and higher levels of estrogen. This hormonal imbalance can lead to a variety of issues that, when left untreated, can affect your quality of life in several ways.
The most common low testosterone signs in males include the following:
If one or more of those symptoms are happening in your life right now, it could be because your body has a lack of testosterone. The only way to find out for certain is to have your testosterone levels tested at a qualified Sexual Wellness and Holistic Clinic, such as NV Medical Gotha. If testing shows that you have low T, the next step in your recovery could be TRT in Gotha, FL.
Some men may think to themselves, "I don't have the time or patience to undergo TRT in Gotha, FL." While TRT treatments are quick, easy, and require no recovery time, we at NV Medical Gotha understand that this type of therapy is not for everyone. Some men choose to rough it through this stage in their life, despite available solutions. While that is certainly an option, if you're considering this route, you should know that more is at risk than low libido and lack of motivation.
As frustrating as those symptoms can be, living with low testosterone often results in more serious issues that risk the health of your vital organs. If you're on the fence about bringing your testosterone levels back within normal range, keep these health risks in mind.
For those who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes, it's possible that low testosterone levels could be a factor. Research has shown that men with low testosterone are more likely to develop diabetes as they age, and those with diabetes are also more likely to have low testosterone. Additionally, men with low T may struggle with insulin resistance. While testosterone replacement therapy won't cure diabetes, studies have suggested that men with healthy testosterone levels tend to have better blood sugar levels and a lower risk of obesity.
If a doctor has informed you that you have high blood pressure, you may be curious about its root cause. Could it be due to aging? Is it hereditary? Or is there another factor at play? Research has shown that men who have low levels of testosterone are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases. When testosterone levels are low, red blood cell production is hindered, which can speed up the accumulation of plaque in your arteries. Over time, this plaque buildup can result in severe issues such as heart attacks and strokes.
Many men face the challenge of excess body fat as they age, which can be discouraging when you're trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Despite eating well and exercising regularly, stubborn fat around the waistline can be difficult to get rid of. However, it's important to note that low testosterone levels may be the underlying cause. Studies have shown a correlation between low T and obesity, as testosterone helps regulate metabolism by controlling insulin, glucose, and fat. The good news is that undergoing TRT in combination with proper diet and exercise can lead to weight loss and improved blood glucose and low-density cholesterol levels.
Anemia occurs when the body lacks or has dysfunctional red blood cells, resulting in reduced oxygen supply to organs. Men with low testosterone levels are at a higher risk of anemia since testosterone plays a role in healthy red blood cell production. A study conducted in 2009 revealed that older men with low T have five times more chances of being anemic compared to men with normal testosterone levels. Although testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is not a cure for anemia, it can help in the production of more red blood cells, which may prevent anemia.
To fully appreciate the advantages of testosterone replacement therapy from NV Medical Gotha, it's crucial to grasp its mechanism. Testosterone was first synthesized in a laboratory in 1935 and has been prescribed to counteract low testosterone levels in clinical settings ever since. Over the last few decades, it has emerged as one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the US.
TRT works by restoring a healthy testosterone level in men who suffer from low T. Essentially, TRT is similar to insulin for people who have diabetes. The body lacks sufficient production of an essential hormone, and so requires an exogenous source to replace it - testosterone in this case. Although most men begin TRT after the age of 50, more men in their 30s and 40s are having their testosterone levels tested at wellness clinics like NV Medical Gotha. If you're experiencing symptoms like ED but think you're too young for testosterone replacement therapy, it's worth having your T levels checked by a doctor.
As the name implies, TRT replaces the testosterone that your body is missing, so it can function as it should. Unlike some TRT clinics, however, our doctors and practitioners take a personalized, comprehensive approach to testosterone replacement therapy.
If you are experiencing symptoms that may indicate low testosterone levels, it is important to undergo a thorough evaluation, including a medical history and physical examination, as well as laboratory studies. After discussing the potential risks and benefits of testosterone therapy with your healthcare provider, a decision can be made about whether to proceed with treatment.
There are several methods for administering testosterone, such as a gel that is applied to the skin, injections, pellets that are placed under the skin, and a new oral pill that has recently become available. Once treatment begins, regular monitoring of your lab results is essential to ensure that the therapy is effective and to make any necessary adjustments based on additional factors. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are interested in exploring testosterone therapy, please reach out to NV Medical Gotha to schedule a private and confidential consultation with our Board-Certified Urologist.
One of the most common questions we get at NV Medical Gotha is, "Why should I take TRT? Are the benefits really worth it?" In short, yes - when you and your doctor agree that TRT is right for you, the benefits give man men in the United States a new lease on life.
That's especially true if you've tried other treatments but haven't had any success. Do you really want to undergo invasive surgery or take addictive medication, only to mask the symptoms that you're experiencing? TRT represents a natural, non-invasive alternative without relying on pills or surgeries. With NV Medical Gotha's team of compassionate practitioners and doctors by your side, you can experience the benefits for yourself first-hand.
Some of the biggest advantages of taking TRT include the following:
One of the most popular reasons that men turn to TRT is to enhance their libido and reclaim their sexual health. Research has shown that testosterone levels increase in response to sexual activity and arousal. It's generally accepted that men with higher testosterone levels are more likely to engage in sexual activity. However, as men age, they require more testosterone to maintain healthy erectile function and libido. For older men looking to reignite the fire with their partner, TRT is often a viable solution.
One of the most popular reasons that men turn to TRT is to enhance their libido and reclaim their sexual health. Research has shown that testosterone levels increase in response to sexual activity and arousal. It's generally accepted that men with higher testosterone levels are more likely to engage in sexual activity. However, as men age, they require more testosterAs men age and their testosterone levels decrease, their bone mineral density also decreases. This can increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, which can negatively impact quality of life and athletic performance. However, research has shown that higher doses of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can help increase bone density. In fact, recent clinical trials have discovered that TRT can also increase hip and spinal bone density. Strong bones are essential for supporting organs and muscles, so maintaining bone density is crucial for overall health and well-being.one to maintain healthy erectile function and libido. For older men looking to reignite the fire with their partner, TRT is often a viable solution.
Maintaining a healthy heart is crucial for ensuring that your organs and muscles receive sufficient oxygen to function properly. Testosterone plays a key role in the production of red blood cells via the bone marrow. Insufficient levels of testosterone can result in various health issues for your muscles and organs, including cardiovascular problems that warrant attention.
However, a recent study involving more than 80,000 men revealed that individuals whose testosterone levels were brought into normal ranges were 36% less likely to suffer from a stroke. They were also 24% less likely to experience a heart attack. That's a big deal! These positive findings suggest that TRT in Gotha, FL, can effectively promote heart and blood health.
Several studies have indicated that having higher levels of testosterone may lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, there is evidence that suggests a strong link between optimized testosterone levels and better memory, recall rate, and improved cognitive abilities.
Having lower levels of testosterone can negatively impact one's quality of life, as it can lead to symptoms such as depression, fatigue, and irritability. However, studies have shown that this may only be true for men with hypogonadism, as men who experience a natural decrease in testosterone over time did not show an increase in depression.
Additionally, males with hypogonadism reported improvements in mood and well-being, as well as reduced fatigue and irritability. Some research has even suggested that this treatment may be an effective form of anti-depressant therapy.
Aging doesn't have to mean a decline in your health and well-being - take control of your life with NV Gotha to guide you every step of the way. Our Sexual Wellness and Holistic Clinic in Gotha was founded to give men like you - who are suffering from low T - a better quality of life. When you trust our physicians, you can rest easy knowing that you're in good hands. All our TRT options are tailored to your individual needs and goals, ensuring a safe and effective experience without the need for harmful medications or surgeries.
When combined with custom counseling, regular exercise, and a healthy diet, fighting back against low T is easier than ever before. If you're looking to bridge the gap between an unsatisfying past life and a more vibrant future, TRT in Gotha, FL, could be the solution for you.
Unlike other TRT clinics in Gotha, we know that every man's body and wellness goals are unique. As such, we don't provide a "set it and forget it" experience - we focus on individualized attention and purpose-built plans. If you're a man who is serious about reclaiming your life from the symptoms of low testosterone, you're in the right place.
Patients choose NV Medical Gotha because we:
If you're ready to recapture the vigor and vitality of your youth, it's never too late to start. But how will you know when it's time? Like most things in life, your body will let you know. If your body is telling you that change is needed, listen to it - contact our office today and take the next steps toward the life you're dreaming about.
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.”