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How to Transition from MAC/Nam

by michellefieldllc on January 12, 2017

How to transition from MAC_NAM

Miss American Coed and National American Miss are wonderful pageant systems for beginner pageant competitors. They began as one pageant system and divided over 10 years ago. That is why there are so many similarities. Both pageants have the same areas of competition: introduction, interview and evening gown. I’ve known young ladies who compete in both systems year after year.

In order to transition to another pageant system, there are two areas that can challenge a pageant competitor when moving from a pageant that is primarily for girls to a pageant that is for women. On stage, I see young women who don’t distinguish their gown walk from their fun fashion or swimsuit walk. Also, interview questions change and so the competitor needs to up their interview skills.


There is a simple elegance to the walk required for evening gown in the MAC/NAM systems. It is graceful  with rather contrived arm movements. It looks beautiful on stage, however, other pageants, like USA and America look for a gown walk with more attitude than mechanics. This requires both a change in how you walk and your attitude on stage. I like to tell my clients to channel their inner “Tyra Banks”. There is a confidence and sexiness to the mature gown walk. Yes, this means actually moving your hips and letting your arms swing in a more natural way. It will take practice to master the new walk.


Swimsuit can be daunting the first time. First of all, you are baring most of your body while, at the same time, wearing high heels! Now you have to also change your poses. Most MAC/NAM competitors are familiar with pretty feet. This is where you make your feet form the letter “T”, similar to third position in ballet. Now, there is an expectation that you will do the wide leg stance that I like to call “sassy feet.” The most common mistake I see in this pose is showing your inner leg. This can happen in two ways, one is turning 90 degrees from facing the judges the other is turning one foot out so the inner thigh is showing. This is not a flattering look for anyone.

The overall walk is also different from gown. The gown walk is very graceful. I see the same graceful walk used for swimsuit. They are actually very different. Swimsuit moves quicker with a slight bounce. The side is much longer as well. It requires tightening the leg and gluteal muscles to best show them off. The arm movement needs to be more natural. Your friends and family should be able to tell the difference between the two walks.

Fun Fashion

Some pageants substitute fun fashion for swimsuit. This is a very different walk from both gown and swimsuit. This is true runway modeling. It requires a variety of turns and poses. The walk should convey fun and energy. This is the time to really change things up from the classic gown walk. Practice smiling and dropping your smile. Try out different poses. Does your fun fashion have accessories for you to show off? Now is the time to really let your confidence shine!


Most contestants from MAC/NAM are used to generic questions such as, “what is your favorite ________?” and “If you were a __________, what type would you be?” When you compete in other Miss pageants, interview tends to focus on your bio and world issues. This means that your bio needs to say exactly what you want the judges to ask you. It requires spending time researching current events. This is the time to perfect those interview skills.

Some women make the transition from MAC/NAM almost effortlessly, while others frustrate themselves by not making these critical changes. If you are struggling with moving on to another Miss system, it may be time to work with a coach. I offer private coaching in person and via Skype/FaceTime as well as several DIY products. Check out my website for more information. You can be successful beyond MAC/NAM!





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