Miss Nevada Christina Keegan: A lean, mean, sparkly machine | NevadaAppeal.com
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Miss Nevada Christina Keegan: A lean, mean, sparkly machine

Sharlene Irete
Nevada Appeal News Service
Shannon Litz/Nevada Appeal News ServiceChristina Keegan, Miss Nevada, shows one of her pageant dresses on Tuesday at her home in Gardnerville.
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GARDNERVILLE – Twenty-five pairs of high heels replace what used to be tennis shoes at the top of 2009 Miss Nevada Christina Keegan’s closet.

Most of it is filled with garment bags of gowns and dresses for the Miss America Pageant.

“This part of my closet is not applicable to real life,” she said.

“This half of the closet,” indicating the opposite side, “is real life. No sparkles.

“Everything I wear for the Miss America Pageant has sequins, beads and rhinestones,” Keegan said. “The Nevada pageant organizers said they want to see Miss Nevada in something fun and cute and sparkly. And how often do I, as a medical student, get to play dress-up?”

The Miss Nevada Scholarship Organization provides an opportunity to see what 2009 Miss Nevada Christina Keegan will bring to the Miss America Pageant at the wardrobe preview event, 2-4 p.m. today, at St. Gall Catholic Church, 1343 Centerville Lane, Gardnerville.

Keegan models her wardrobe and dances the ballet she will perform as her talent in the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas on

Jan. 30.

She has been preparing for the Miss America Pageant since she was crowned Miss Nevada in June. Her schedule included ballet practice three times a week, strength training twice a week and speaking engagements with service clubs and community groups throughout Northern Nevada.

“They sent me to someone who chopped off my hair and taught me how to do my makeup,” she said.

“Then I went to the gym to get bulked up and gained 7 pounds of muscle. I’ve spent a lot of time in the gym, so the swimsuit competition is the easiest part of the pageant for me.”

Besides the swimsuit competition, Miss America contestants are judged on their talent and on interview questions.

“The No. 1 thing they look for in Miss America is that she needs to be pretty. That’s because you see her first on TV,” said Keegan. “You have to be engaged with her, so she has to be warm and personable. Next is talent.”

Keegan’s talent for the competition is ballet en pointe to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Her personal platform is Strength Over Silence: Rape Education and Recovery and she’s a national partner with the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network victim resource center.

The Miss America Pageant is Jan. 25-30 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Only the final night of the competition with the 15 finalists is televised, but the 53 total contestants participate in preliminaries all week. Keegan has her private interview on the first day, with her onstage question, swimsuit and talent preliminaries on each day following. The Miss America Pageant is televised on TLC at 8 p.m. Jan. 30.

Going on the trip to Las Vegas on Monday are five pieces of luggage and 10 to 12 garment bags. There are three beaded evening gowns, a cocktail dress for her onstage question, an interview dress and outfits for a fashion show the week before the actual competition. Accessories include bejeweled high, high heels and 5-inch long crystal earrings.

“Everything’s done and I feel ready to go to Las Vegas,” said Keegan. “I’m going to relax and enjoy the process because this is the only time I’ll be doing this.”