Dickinson's Cassandra Ridl prepares for Miss ND pageantCassandra Ridl, 22, who was named Miss Dickinson last summer, is preparing to compete in the Miss North Dakota Scholarship Pageant in Williston.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
Cassandra Ridl, 22, who was named Miss Dickinson last summer, is preparing to compete in the Miss North Dakota Scholarship Pageant in Williston.
“The biggest part is the talent — they judge it 35 percent,” she said.
“You have less than 90 seconds to perform — it’s really short.”
A native of Dickinson, Ridl is playing a piano solo, “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
Ridl hasn’t played piano in the last four years and is taking piano lessons again. Searching for the right song, she wanted a tune that was flashy — something to catch their attention, she said.
Ridl has been studying current events for the interview.
“Measure 2 and the oil industry are the two big things in the state right now,” she said.
Having attended the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas last year, she purchased an evening gown at the trade show.
She also attended a Miss North Dakota forum in April, which was an opportunity to meet the other contestants and directors.
Her platform is titled “Healthy Hearts: Changing the Lifestyle of America.” The platform was an easy decision — her parents and a brother were hospitalized with heart-related illnesses.
If named Miss North Dakota, she would become an ambassador for healthy hearts — bringing programs into the school systems, specifically in health and physical education classes.
“My goal is to motivate others to keep their hearts healthy,” she said. “It is important to start healthy habits at a young age — exercise and diets are habits that are best acquired early.”
Ridl is the daughter of Arthur and Cindy Ridl and graduated from Dickinson High School in 2007. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in May 2011, with a degree in applied economics.
“I moved back to Dickinson almost a year ago and that’s when I decided Miss Dickinson is a way to get involved in the community,” Ridl said.
She works as a credit analyst at American Bank Center. Her goal is to obtain a master’s degree in business administration and open her own dance studio.
Pageant director SuAnn Olson said the pageants foster self awareness for the contestants.
“After Cassie won the local title, that motivated her to sign up with the Toastmasters group to become a better speaker and she started taking piano lessons again,” Olson said. “No matter what happens at the Miss North Dakota pageant, she will be forever different.”
The Miss North Dakota pageant is June 7 to 9 in Williston. Tickets are available at the door — $15 for Thursday and Friday preliminaries and $20 for Saturday finals.
“The talent is off the chart,” Olson said. “This is going to be one of the best years ever for competition. Anyone of them could become Miss North Dakota, and that is very exciting.”