Friday, May 28, 2021

Danielle Cormier Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Danielle Cormier is passionate about mental health, a talented twirler, and the current Miss Tri-Valley. I was flattered that she wanted to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more.
So, let's see what happens when Danielle Cormier visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Tri-Valley crown?

I have the most supportive friends who helped me celebrate with a fun dinner after winning the Tri-Valley crown. A lot of people don't know this, but because I moved to Oregon when I was 18, I don't have any family around. My friends are a huge part of my support system and I couldn't do it without them. They are even great enough to join me and my parents (who are flying in) in Seaside while I compete for Miss Oregon, despite there being a cap on attendee's due to social distancing.

What part of the upcoming Miss Oregon competition are you most nervous about? 

To a lot of people's surprise, I always say talent. I have been competitively twirling since I was 3 years old and have always had a passion for it- but with that being said, there is also a lot of pressure that comes along with a history like mine. To be extremely candid, I have never grown out of performance anxiety. This year, however, my song is something so inspiring to me. It's Sia's Unstoppable (covered by Brynn Cartelli). I listen to the song any time I feel nervous or like I need some motivation. The lyrics make me feel powerful when I perform and that really helps me turn my nerves into energy.

Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Tri-Valley?

Unfortunately, if I do not win the title of Miss Oregon, my contract will be over the day after crowning- so I have one month to fit in as many appearances as I can. My first goal is, of course, spreading more awareness about mental illness. There is still a lot of bias in the healthcare system and it is time we start thinking more inclusively about our mental health care system. Therapy works, and everyone deserves access. The next goal is to become the best version of myself, because it is no secret that my dream is to be Miss Oregon. I have been working hard on myself in the last year- doing a lot of introspective time and going to therapy. I am not the same person as last year, or even just a few months ago. I am healthy and confident, and ready to take the job as Miss Oregon.

How did you select your social impact initiative, “Healthy Crowns Matter”?

Mental health, specifically equitable mental health care, is something I find extremely important- especially after the last year. I was diagnosed with anxiety (GAD and Social Anxiety) when I was extremely young and when I got to college I was diagnosed with depression. Both made it hard to complete basic functions- everything felt like a chore: Brushing teeth, cleaning my room, making dinner, etc. The hardest part of it, and what has always been the hardest part, is the lonliness. The more I can speak about my experiences and the more I can speak up about the importance of therapy, the less lonely others will feel and the more likely they are to get help. But when I talk about therapy I also have to keep in mind those who simply cannot afford it. The cost of help is outrageous and the way I can take action is taking it to our legislators. Those who are unemployed, uninsured, and racially marginalized groups are put in a position where they are more likely to be challenged with a mental illness, yet less likely to be able to afford help. Healthy Crowns Matter is all about treating every brain like a crown, because they are very similar- beautiful, unique, and fragile. I don't just want awareness, I want acceptance and I want accessibility- for everyone.

As a talented twirler, what do you enjoy most about performing on stage?

The rush! Once the nerves melt away, I love the feeling of performing. This Christmas, while I was at home, I watched some old home-videos and found a lot of twirling performances of mine. Let me say, I was a HAM! My dream growing up, even in those old home-video moments, was to perform for a D1 college during halftime, and I was lucky enough to fulfill that dream. Miss America gives me a chance to perform again and I love every second of it- even when it makes me nervous.

What is your personal fitness routine?

My social anxiety peaks when I go to the gym, so I have a bad habit of avoiding it. I fought this by coming up with better ways to work out at home, so I feel more comfortable while doing more core, leg, and arm workouts. For the other things, I can't usually avoid the gym. When it's rainy I get my cardio in by getting on the elliptical or the treadmill. The greatest part of my talent is that it has been my source of exercise for 20 years, and when in doubt I do a LOT of talent practice. It's definitely a perk!

If you could be a Disney character for a week, who would you choose? Why?

I love this question, but it's so hard to answer! I would have to say Sadness from Inside Out. I know that sounds so depressing- but sadness is the most empathetic character in all of Disney. She not only thinks about Riley's feelings but takes them into consideration. One of the traits I take the most pride in is my empathy, and most days I feel so similar to Sadness. She would be Miss America in my mind- she's caring, thoughtful, and puts others above herself. Plus, it's my favorite movie!

As a longtime Red Sox fan, who is your favorite all-time Sox player? Why?

Bogey. He's a tenured player for good reason, leading the league in multiple offensive categories, and a natural leader. Added bonus is that he's bilingual! He's great on and off the field.

Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?

A BASEBALL GAME IN PORTLAND! I know that's not an activity at a baseball game, but it's a game I would love to experience. The Portland Diamond project is a movement to bring major league baseball to Portland that I follow closely. There are so many economical perks to building a stadium in PDX, and it would be so fun to have another local team to cheer for. I am optimistic that we will be able to make it happen- and when it does you can definitely catch me at opening day!


I'd say a team in Portland would make a lot of sense! 

As always, I want to thank Danielle for visiting with us, and for sending along the fantastic pictures to go with the interview.

I encourage you to follow Danielle her Instagram account. It's a great way to keep track of everything she has going on!

I also definitely want to wish her the best of luck when she competes for the Miss Oregon title. It would be wonderful to have the first Section 36 visitor wear that crown!
Thanks again Danielle, and good luck!

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