Bicycle Helmet Regulations in the USA and Abroad

May 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

Texas-based psychology student Kelly Dillard is a dancer and regular beauty pageant contestant, having appeared in a large number of Texas pageant events. Kelly Dillard is an enthusiastic advocate for physical fitness and helmet-safety standards, using her pageant platform to raise awareness and support these causes.

A photograph of President Obama wearing a bicycle helmet while riding on his 2013 family summer vacation in Martha’s Vineyard circulated around the Internet and caused some comment and speculation about bicycle helmet standards in the United States. While there is no federal law governing mandatory use of bicycle helmets, children are required to wear helmets in 21 American states according to varying local legislation.

In some countries, bicycle helmet standards are much more rigorous. For example, in Australia, helmets have been mandatory for riders of all ages since 1989. Some Canadian provinces also enforce the mandatory wearing of helmets. In Mexico City, mandatory helmet laws were repealed in 2010, and in South Africa, the practice is compulsory according to the law but not officially enforced. Countries that do not have any legislation governing the wearing of bicycle helmets regardless of age include France, Germany, India, Poland, and The Netherlands.


Choosing Music for Pageant Talent Routines

April 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

Kelly Dillard has competed in pageants for many years and has won such regional competitions as Miss West Texas Outstanding Teen and Miss North Texas. A dancer by training and a former member of the University of North Texas dance team, Kelly Dillard has performed on stage with the Black Eyed Peas.

When choosing a routine for a pageant talent competition, the right music track makes a significant difference. Winning contestants choose effective music that is appropriate for the routine, whether that routine be emotional and graceful or energetic and fast paced. Excitement and audience appeal is a must, whether that translates to high drama or an electrifying pop beat.

For more dramatic routines, such as classical ballet, symphonic pieces and cinematic scores capture the judges’ attention best. Well-known film music has been known to provide a background for winning routines, while familiar and catchy show tunes support tap routines or other lighthearted performances. In either case, the competitor should thoroughly rehearse the performance so that it fits into designated time limits, feels comfortable, and above all engages the audience.

Miss America Outstanding Teen Scholarships

March 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

Kelly Dillard has held a number of titles in the Miss America pageant system, including Miss Teen Rowlett and Miss West Texas Outstanding Teen. Kelly Dillard graduated from the University of North Texas, where she participated on the dance team.

In 2005, the Miss America pageant system formed Outstanding Teen, Inc., as a resource for girls to further their education. Outstanding Teen supports girls through scholarships to the school of their choice. In less than a decade, Miss America’s Outstanding Teen program has become the country’s leading provider of scholarships to teenage girls. Since its founding, Outstanding Teen has issued cash and in-kind scholarships in excess of $5 million. To date, the program has signed off on cash scholarships valued at more than $700,000 to more than 150 U.S. undergraduate institutions. Scholarships have been awarded to students at colleges from all over the country, ranging from Hawaii Pacific University to the University of New Hampshire.

Super Bowl Halftime Shows Successfully Venture into Pop Music and R&B

March 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

A winner of multiple pageants in the Miss America system, including the title of Miss North Texas in 2011, Kelly Dillard supports a variety of charitable causes as part of a scholarship she received. Kelly Dillard spent two years on the dance team at the University of North Texas and performed during the Super Bowl XLV halftime show with the Black Eyed Peas.

The Super Bowl XLV halftime show at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas featured a medley of the Black Eyed Peas’ greatest hits, along with guest appearances by Slash, Fergie, and Usher. Their selection marked a return to pop music after several years of performances by classic rock artists such as Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and Paul McCartney.

For the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show in New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, the NFL turned to the award-winning artist Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Over 115 million people watched the show, surpassing Madonna’s 114 million viewers and setting a new Super Bowl record.

Equine Therapy Aids Children on the Autism Spectrum

February 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

Currently pursuing psychology degree at the University of North Texas, Kelly Dillard spent two years on the school’s dance team and has also competed in several beauty pageants in the North Texas area. In addition to her academics and extracurricular activities, Kelly Dillard actively supports a number of charitable causes, among them WALK ON, an organization that promotes horse therapy for children on the autism spectrum.

Equine therapy is a method of using horses to encourage emotional growth in individuals with conditions ranging from autism and conduct disorders to depression, anxiety, and dementia. The therapist will often begin by teaching the individual how to make the horse follow without touching it; students usually learn that the most effective way to communicate with a horse is with firm, soft commands, rather than yelling or clapping. The therapist also teaches how to lead the horse, a practice that encourages both physical and emotional bonding.

Typically, equine therapy also focuses on grooming, saddlery, and basic riding procedures, all aimed at increasing confidence and social skills.

The Benefits of Becoming Physically Active

February 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

An accomplished dancer and pageant winner, Kelly Dillard has a personal commitment to fitness. In addition to advocating for bicycle helmet safety in her pageant platform, Kelly Dillard has chosen to speak on the health benefits of physical activity as well.

Increasing physical activity is one of the most crucial and helpful choices a person can make to improve general health. Regular aerobic exercise is a key factor in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, while also strengthening the bone and muscle structure that supports the body. In addition, exercise helps to promote “good” cholesterol while decreasing harmful triglycerides, an effect that reduces the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Effective in controlling blood sugar as well, physical activity may also help to prevent metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Some studies even show that exercise helps to reduce the risk of colon, lung, endometrial, and breast cancers.

Beneficial to the mind and the mind-body connection as well, exercise helps to promote healthy sleep and a better mood. Exercise may also improve adults’ sex lives by improving arousal in women and erectile function in men. These benefits are further enhanced by the fact that exercise typically helps to improve mood and energy and potentially helps keep the mind agile.

Obesity Trends in the United States

January 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Kelly Dillard, a former member of the University of North Texas dance team who continues to maintain an active lifestyle, is a psychology student concerned about the effects of obesity on American health. Kelly Dillard intends to become a clinical health psychologist and work with patients both before and after they undergo weight loss surgery.

Obesity can be a dangerous problem. People carrying extra weight are often at greater risk for heart disease and other health problems, including diabetes. The Nutrition Source, a publication from the Harvard School of Public Health, recently focused on the rise of obesity in the United States. In 1990, less than 15 percent of the adult population in America was obese; just 20 years later, more than half of American states had obesity rates of 25 percent or higher. Presently, two out of three adults are classified as overweight or obese. Additionally, obesity is a growing problem for children and adolescents – one out of three is considered overweight or obese.