Mattie Grace Morris

Local Title: Miss Pearl River Valley’s Outstanding Teen
Hometown: Brandon
Hobbies: Ballet, Cheerleading, Running Track
School: Hartfield Academy
Scholastic Ambition: Medical Career
Scholastic Honors: Honor student, advanced classes
Talent: Classical Ballet En Pointe
Platform: Fit is Fun

What makes you special and unique? My ballet training and performance experience has taught me many important qualities such as work ethic, discipline, and self-reliance.

What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? Usually people do not realize that I am a very independent person.

Best advice you have ever received? The best advice I have ever received is no matter what, never stop believing in myself.

What can’t you live without? Ballet was my first love and still is. I am very passionate about it and I could not imagine my life without dancing.

What is your biggest guilty pleasure? My guilty pleasure is always watching too many makeup tutorials on YouTube.

What is your favorite movie genre and why? My favorite movie genre is thriller because I enjoy the excitement of not knowing what will happen next.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years, I will have a college degree. I hope to be finishing my dance career and starting medical school to become a pediatrician.

Most valuable lesson learned? The most valuable lesson I have learned is that if you do not work for what you aspire to do, you will not succeed.

Most valued role model (other than your mother) and why? My role model is Sadie Robertson because she is always putting others before herself and she is not afraid to share her love for Jesus with other people.

What motivates you? Competition motivates me more than anything else.

Greatest non-academic accomplishment other than winning your local title? I’m very proud to have received the title of an All American Cheerleader. I give credit to my coach for encouraging me, and the judges recognized my work ethic, leadership qualities, and technical skill.

Best compliment you have ever received? The best compliment I have ever received is that I am beautiful not just on the outside, but beautiful on the inside. It really made me think about the fact that your outward appearance is not what makes someone beautiful. Having a beautiful heart matters the most.

Secret wish or dream? My dream is to watch one of the American Ballet Theatre’s performances in New York City.

What is the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? The funniest thing that has happened to me took place during The Nutcracker performance this past December. I went on stage and finished the whole dance with a crown stuck to my skirt! I had no idea but when I came off stage, my ballet teacher told me. I laughed so hard and was very thankful it did not fly off during the performance!

What is one thing you’d like to try that is out of character for you? I would love to sky dive one day. I think it would be really scary but also very exciting because I could overcome my fear of heights.

What is your super power? My super power would be to have super flexibility.

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss Mississippi Program? I have learned to keep trying and never give up, no matter what.

Describe yourself in one word. I would describe myself as ambitious. From cheerleading, running track, and dancing I have always stayed committed to all my activities and I have never given up, even when times were hard.

A Fun Family Fact? My whole family’s first and last names start with the letter “M”, even my adorable cat named Max!

Please write a short essay (2 or 3 paragraphs) describing yourself to the people viewing the website. Let people know who you really are. Keep in mind the questions you’ve already been asked and include other things that you would like people to know about you.

My name is Mattie Grace Morris, and I am an eighth grader at Hartfield Academy in Brandon, MS. At Hartfield, I am a member of the Junior Varsity Track Team and AAA state champs Cheer Squad! I also stay very busy as a member of the Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet Company. I live in the Brandon Reservoir area near Jackson with my mother, father, and little brother, Mitchell. We are all members of Colonial Heights Baptist Church in Ridgeland.

Because I am fairly tall, people usually ask if I play basketball or volleyball when they meet me for the first time. Once I tell them that I am a ballerina, they often tend to think ballet is not very demanding compared to a traditional sport. Many would not consider ballet to be a sport at all! But I believe that it is, and my commitment to ballet as both a sport and as an art form has taught me valuable lessons and allowed me to develop qualities that make me unique.

This past summer, I was accepted into the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) four week intensive at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. When I arrived I did not know anyone. My parents helped me move into my home for the next month (a small dorm room) and then they travelled back home to Mississippi. From attending classes all day, doing my own laundry, grocery shopping, and getting to know people from all around the world; my experience at ABT was like no other and has been instrumental in developing the qualities that make me unique. During my time at ABT, there was no choice but to rely on myself and that gave me the opportunity to learn how to be more confident and independent.

Ballet is not just about costumes and performing on stage. It is about hard work, discipline, time- management, responsibility, and staying healthy. These skills are not only important while in the studio, but in everyday life as well. Through my 10 years of ballet training Ihave not only beenable to develop my technique, but I have learned very important traits of independence and discipline that I will continue to use throughout my entire life.

Please write a short essay (2 or 3 paragraphs) explaining your passion for your platform and your stance on the subject. Be sure to name your platform and give a brief explanation of its purpose as well.

MY PASSION FOR “FIT IS FUN”

For many years, Mississippi has continued to suffer from one of the highest rates of obesity in the nation. More than 1 in 3 Mississippi adults are obese and nearly 1 in 4 Mississippi children suffer from obesity as well. In addition to high rates of obesity, Mississippi also has the lowest number of adults who engage in regular physical activity.

Lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and obesity not only cause problems of appearance and body image, but these issues also contribute to a wide variety of significant health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and even many forms of cancer. Negative impacts on self-esteem and self-worth are also serious problems related to these issues.

“Fit is Fun” is designed to educate people about the dangers of obesity, as well as provide encouragement and help them to live a healthier life. As a ballerina, cheerleader, and runner, I have learned how important it is to stay fit and make healthier eating choices. It has become one of my many passions to find ways to show people how being healthy and physically fit can be fun, increase self esteem, and improve overall quality of life.