Miss Butler County Miranda Flemming, a Pratt local, is competing in the Miss Kansas Pageant with a platform of dealing with grief.
When Miss Butler County Miranda Flemming takes the stage at the 2018 Miss Kansas Pageant, she will be on dual mission. She wants to be Miss Kansas and she wants to spread the message of her platform “Face The Burning Building.” This message focuses on the five stages of grief, the title comes from when her mother’s house burned down.
She wants to be Miss Kansas because it will give her the opportunity to help others who may be grieving. She wants to help everyone escape their own burning building.
“Aside from becoming Miss Kansas, my platform is most important,” Flemming said.
Flemming’s mother, Doreen Anderson, passed away when she was 10 and it had a profound effect on her. Her father and step mother didn’t know how to help her deal with her grief so she grieved alone.
“It impacted me for years,” Flemming said.
She had lots of anxiety but felt she hid it well. She had no one to talk to and she had anger issues. Her platform evolved from the loss of her mother and her grieving process.
Her platform actually started as a speech in Forensics about grieving that won her a second place finish at the state forensics tournament in Topeka. At the urging of her forensics teacher Rose Beilman, she put the story together and it eventually became her platform for the Miss Kansas Pageant.
Her hope is to spread her message to schools and communities and make sure they have the resources to help children and adults deal with grief.
The five stages of grief are denial and isolation; anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Flemming wants people to understand that loss is not limited to the death of a family member or friend but can also be the loss of a job or loss of health. Not everyone knows how to overcome those obstacles
“Grief comes in many forms, not just death,” Flemming said.
Her ultimate goal is to open a non- profit grief counseling facility for children and adults.
Flemming incorporated her platform into her talent competition that is also in honor of her mother. For her talent, Flemming will do a contemporary/lyric dance. She encourages the audience to listen to the words as well as watch her dance.
She started dancing when she was in middle school and studied for eight years with Melissa Jacobs. She likes dancing because it allows her to combine music and words and movement to get her message across.
“You can use dance to say anything,” Flemming said.
She is most nervous about her talent. While she has spent many hours rehearsing, every move must be perfect.
“Every detail in my dance matters,” Flemming said. “It’s not that I’m scared but everything is important.”
While she wants to become a child counselor in the future, Flemming has has always dreamed of being a Disney Princess. In fact, she works for Princess Pros, a company that provides singing Disney princesses for a variety of events including princess balls. Their business is making dreams come true. She has performed in Kansas City, St. Louis, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Denver, Colorado. Her character is Princess Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog.”
As she prepares for the pageant, she is spending a lot of time practicing her talent. Depending on time available, she works until she has her movement correct in her mind. If she can’t practice, she runs through the movements in her mind.
She has been working out and practicing her walk for both swimwear and evening wear. She makes sure her makeup is correct and that her jewelry and shoes and accessories are just right. She has had her clothes picked out for months.
Her favorite part of the competition is the interview. For almost everyone else, interview is their least favorite competition but her years of experience in Forensics have given her confidence that no matter what the judges ask her, she will give a good answer.
Flemming got started in the pageant with the encouragement of the late Marilee Beck. Beck got her involved in the Princess program. Now she promotes it to other young girls.
“We show the girls it’s their time to shine. It’s time for them to have fun and to have confidence on and off the stage,” Flemming said.
Flemming also competed in the Miss Kansas Out- standing Teen Pageant in 2015. She said the experience helped her grow as a competitor. She learned to have a purpose which helped her get where she is now.
Flemming has just completed a degree at Pratt Community College and is heading to Wichita State University to seek a degree in psychology with the goal of becoming a grief counselor for youth.
Flemming has been inspired and helped along her journey by lots of people including her pageant director Larry Strong, her parents Martin and Mary Flemming, teacher Rose Beilman, Randy and Sheryl Stone and her grand-mother Donna Detwiler.