Former Suns Dancer Named Miss Arizona

by Jeramie McPeek
VP, Digital
By Stefan Swiat,
Updated: Nov. 16, 2009

As the Suns hope to keep shining on the court, one of the members of their family is shining off of it.

Former Suns Dancer, Brittany Bell, who spent the last three seasons entertaining fans across the Valley, captured the crown at the Miss Arizona USA pageant this past weekend. With her title in hand, Bell will go on to represent Arizona on the national level in the Miss USA pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on April 18, 2010.

The preliminary competition took place on Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Mesa Arts Center Theater. The competition consisted of contestants participating in both evening gown and swimsuit competitions.

Then, after narrowing the contestants down to 5-10, the remaining girls will return the following night. Sunday night’s competition featured an interview with all of the finalists.

“The main reason I’m doing this is because I’d like to be a good representative of Arizona,” Bell said. “I’d like to be an example of someone who pursues their goals, goes after that they want and most of all, helps the community.”

Bell graduated from ASU this past year with a degree in broadcast journalism and TV communications. After flirting with the idea of embarking on a career as a sideline reporter for sports or TV hosting, she decided to pursue a promise she made to herself a few years earlier.

A few years ago, the former Suns performer thought about entering the Miss Arizona USA pageant, but decided against it so she could dedicate all of her time to her studies and her dancing. Now that she's finished with both of those commitments, she felt that her time to act had arrived.

“The Miss USA pageant, in my opinion, is about your personality, your success, the way you carry yourself, your poise, your ethics and pretty much everything about you being an all-around driven, classy and confident young woman,” Bell said. “I decided I wanted to try that before I stepped into a career and go full-force with it.”

Despite having never previously competed in a pageant, when asked why she didn’t hire a coach or an advisor, Bell replied that being a Suns Dancer was “kind of like my coach.” Not only did she consistently dance in front of 18,000 screaming fans, but she also made a bevy of appearances and interacted with many notable public figures.

“Being with the Suns, you get to see how people look up to you just from simply dancing on the court, doing charity events and appearances,” she explained. “They want your autograph and you see how little kids and adults act towards you. When I saw that as a representative of the organization, I thought that taking it to the next level and being a representative/ambassador of Arizona would be amazing.”

The former dancer had 12 sponsors for the Miss Arizona USA pageant, which is the pageant’s limit. Most of her competitors only possessed a handful. Through her recruiting, she has acquired both trade and monetary sponsors.

Local fashion designer, Natalia Acosta, created her gown, while a designer friend of one of her fellow Suns Dancers helped her acquire a swimsuit. The benefits of working for the Suns didn’t stop there.

Dr. Badolato of Studio B, who is the Suns Dancers’ dentist, helped sponsor Bell, as well John Waytuk, who was a season-ticket holder when Bell danced for the Suns.

In preparation for the competition, Bell researched her current events and made sure she was aware of everything community-related. She was told that the winner of this competition would spend most of her time making appearances, doing charity work and aiding the community.

There’s always hope for a national crown too. Last year’s Miss Arizona was the second runner-up in the Miss USA pageant before moving up to first runner-up after Miss California gave up her crown.

But no matter what happens, one gets the feeling that Bell is keeping everything in perspective.

“I feel like going into this pageant was a parallel to my time with the Suns,” she said. “I want to be myself and if they like that and that’s what they think is the right thing for them - then that’s awesome.”

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