Tanner Fant

Miss Meridian

Hometown:  Starkville, Mississippi

Platform:       Let’s All Dance

Talent:           Lyrical Dance

What college did you attend, or are currently attending? University of Alabama

What is your major? Dance, specializing in performance and choreography Minor: Psychology and Public Relations

What is your scholastic ambition? I hope to graduate from the University of Alabama Honors College with a 4.0 and a B.A. in Dance. In the future, I plan to attend graduate school to obtain a Masters in Dance Therapy.

List scholastic honors: University of Alabama Honors College, Foundation in Excellence Scholar, President’s List, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, Golden Key Honor Society, Society for Leadership and Achievement,Nu Delta Alpha Dance Honor Society, Top 3 Academic Ranking- Starkville Academy Class of 2015, Starkville Academy National Honor Society

Greatest non-academic accomplishment: Being named Mississippi’s Distinguished Young Woman 2015 and getting to represent the great state of Mississippi at America’s DYW as a top ten finalist is my greatest accomplishment thus far. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to give back to Mississippi during my year.

What is your favorite style of music? Indie Pop

What is your favorite movie genre and why? My favorite movie genre is comedy. If I am sitting down long enough to watch a movie, I have to be continuously laughing.

What is your favorite gadget? TheTrigger Point Foam Roller is my lifesaver and the reason I can dance day-in and day-out.

What is your favorite blog? LysaTerKuerst and Proverbs 31 Ministries

What is your favorite place to visit? I was blessed with the opportunity to spend a month in Chicago last summer living my dream as a dancer. Any chance I get to visit Chicago again or any other big city where my dream of becoming a professional dancer can come true, count me in.

What is your favorite food? Whataburger honey butter chicken biscuits

If you were on a deserted island, what book would you want with you? Other than the Bible and a How to Survive on a Deserted Island Guide, I would want Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park with me.

Do you twitter? I do not.

What is your favorite?

Sport:  It is a close tie between football and baseball.

Sports Team: University of Alabama football/Chicago Cubs

Actor: Michael Luwoye       Actress:Reese Witherspoon

Television Program: Once Upon a Time

Wardrobe Accessory: My Wrigley Field baseball cap is the perfect companion for my long school days.

Thing to do on a weekend: Saturdays are for football, food, friends, family and dance rehearsals. Sundays are for Jesus, sleep, homework and more rehearsals!

Way to spend a day off: When I am not catching up on sleep, I love to explore my college town of Tuscaloosa with my friends. I love finding hidden treasures within the community where I am placed.

What is your hometown like? For most Mississippians, Starkville is known just as Mississippi’s college town. For me, Starkville is a small town with big spirit and an even bigger heart for its residents.

What were you like when you were a child? As a child, I was painfully shy and quiet unless you put me on stage and told me to dance. Fortunately as an adult, you no longer have to put me on stage for me to be outgoing, thanks to the confidence I gained through dance.

Who is the most influential person in your life? Cornelius Carter, director of the University of Alabama dance program, has been influential in my life recently. He has given me countless opportunities in the dance industry already and has shown me that I am capable of being a successful professional performer.

What is the one thing about you that people you meet may not immediately realize? Believe it or not, I am quite the tomboy. I love all sorts of insects and reptiles, being outdoors, and mud-riding.

Describe one defining moment in your own life, other than winning your local title: After finishing what could have been my last dance performance, a little girl approached me and said, “You are the most beautiful ballerina I have ever seen. I want to grow up and be like you one day.” Meeting that little girl not only saved me from quitting dance but also inspired me to help start “Let’s All Dance.”

What is one important thing you have learned from being in the Miss America Program? I have learned how much having a shiny crown on my head can influence a group of people. The Miss America Program is a constant reminder in my life that I am a role model to everyone no matter where I am or what I am doing, with or without a shiny crown on my head.

If you are crowned Miss Mississippi, what do you want to accomplish during your Yearof Service? I would like to establish Let’s All Dance in schools and dance companies across the state of Mississippi and beyond. I firmly believe that every child should have the opportunity to grow in self-confidence through the arts, no matter the disability or trial he or she faces.

What is your secret wish or dream? I wish more than anything to be half an inch taller, which is no secret to those who know me. If I were 5’6”, I could audition to be a Radio City Rockette.

I’m motivated by: I am motivated by my failures. A quote that I live by is “If you do not live on the edge of failure, you will never live on the edge of success.”

Is there a personal connection that made you pick your personal platform? The little girl that inspired me to create Let’s All Dance blossomed into continuous inspiration from my students in the program. I started the program in Starkville and Tuscaloosa to give opportunities to children who need it most, but the impact the program has had on me profoundly exceeds anything I could have imagined. Let’s All Dance is the reason I still dance.

What do you think has been the most significant event in your lifetime? There have been many events in my life that have made such an impact on my life, but the most recent would be starting the first ever Miss Crimson Beauty Review at the University of Alabama. I never knew that I, especially as a freshman, could make an impact and lasting tradition on a campus of 40,000 people, while also benefiting such a great organization as the Rise Center of Tuscaloosa.

The one thing I can’t live without: Krispy Kreme Hot ‘N Ready Light

My best friend would describe me as: goal-oriented, kind-hearted, optimistic and goofy.

Something interesting about my family: My family is full of interesting souls, but I think my sister and I being adopted is an aspect of my family that is most unique. I cannot express enough how thankful I am to be given a second chance and to be given the most incredible parents and family.

Funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me: I have suffered from blonde moments for as long as I can remember. A prime example is the time I thought my car was broken down. I stopped traffic, had sweet strangers help push my car, and began the process to call the tow truck. It turns out that I just accidentally turned my car off at the stop sign.

One thing I’d like to try that is out of character for me: I am not the biggest fan of amusement parks or roller coasters, but I would like to try to ride the Tower of Terror in Disney World.

Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and tell us their names: Currently, I have three precious pets, but I certainly would not turn away another one. I have Moose, a cat that lives out his name; Stella, your stereotypical diva feline; and Oliver, a precious malti-poo that is spoiled more than my sister and me combined.