Destination: DYW

Published 12:31 am Friday, July 14, 2017

Participants ‘take flight’ for Saturday event

The 10 participants in this year’s Covington County Distinguished Young Women program agreed that they’ve had fun getting to now each other this week, and have enjoyed the process of preparing for Saturday night’s show.

“I love how much goes into it,” said Callen Woodard. “So many people think it’s a beauty pageant. But these are smart, talented and determined girls, and DYW encourages you to be your best self. It’s not just about being pretty.”

This year’s group includes a drum major, two cheerleading captains, a colorguard captain, two SGA presidents, and volleyball, basketball and softball players.

Woodard, the Andalusia High School drum major, also serves as SGA president, is a member of Key Club, Usher Club, and Anchors, and is an Andalusia Ambassador. She will play “Dueling banjos” on the flute for her talent selection.

The practice schedule has kept the young women very busy, both Olivia Amerson and Clancy Stanfield agreed.

“This week, I’ve had cheerleading from 7:30 until 11, and had to be here at 1. And I live in Opp,” Stanfield said.

But the effort has been worth it.

“I love that I’ve made new friends I never thought I would get to know,” she said. “Even if the schedule has been crazy.”

At OHS, Clancy also is the SGA president and an ambassador. She will peform a tumbling/dance routine to “Love with your life.”

Amerson, who grew up dancing, compared this week’s preparations to the Andalusia Ballet’s Nutcracker week.

“This is like Nutcracker used to be,” he said. “But I like the experience.”

Amerson, who is performing a contemporary dance, plays softball at AHS, is colorguard captain, a member of the SGA, and on the yearbook staff.

“It’s definitely been a challenge,” Madison Griffin of Pleasant Home said, especially of the fitness routine. “But I’ve enjoyed it.

Griffin will play the piano for her talent selection.

Sarah McClung might have the most unusual attire for a DYW show. She’s wearing a softball uniform for her talent number – a monologue about a softball player forced to play piano. It’s a situation to which she can relate.

“My parents made me take piano when I wanted to play softball,” she said.

The Pleasant Home student does play softball, as well as volleyball, and is a Peer Helper and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She also is active in Presley Memorial Presbyterian Church. The push-ups in the fitness routine require a different muscle group than her usual sports activities, she said.

Carrington Ward appears to be no stranger to high heels, but she said “walking in heels during the self expression” portion of the show feels the most challenging to her.

She’s also enjoyed getting to know students from across the county.

At AHS, she is a cheerleader and a member of Key Club. For her talent, she will perform a hip hop dance.

“I love getting to know girls from other schools,” Rebecca Josey of Opp said.

The OHS cheerleading captain, who plans a tumbling routine for her talent, said that’s the part she’s most anxious about.

At OHS, she’s also an ambassador, a member of SGA and a Peer Helper.


Katherine Finley was quick to say her biggest challenge this week has been learning the dance moves.

“I’m a basketball player,” she explained. She also is a member of SGA, DECA, Usher Club, and plays trumpet in A Sound Tradition at Andalusia High School. For her talent, she’ll play an arrangement of “Pachelbel,” on piano.

Finley was recognized at dress rehearsal for having sold the most tickets – 73.

Riley Grace Lowery said participating in DYW has given her an opportunity to meet people.

“Most of the Andalusia girls I know, because I went there until fifth grade,” she said. “So it’s been fun getting to know the others.”

The dance and fitness routines are challenging, she said.

At Pleasant Home, Lowery plays volleyball, and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the 4_H and FFA. For her talent, she will sing “For Good” from “Wicked.”

Mia Porter also has enjoyed getting to know more people.

Porter is cheerleading captain at AHS and also plays basketball and is a member of the Anchor Club. For her talent, she is performing an African dance to “Lamban.”


The DYW program will be presented at 6 p.m. Sat., July 15, at the Dixon Center on the campus of LBW Community College. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $35 for reserved seating. Tickets are available from participants, or at Harold’s. They also will be available at the door if they are not sold out in advance.