"Back in 2002, I had the privilege of having my own wish come true. I was born with a rare skin disorder called lamellar ichthyosis, which prohibits me from sweating. This makes a simple thing like a fever life-threatening. I have to be extremely careful in the hot summer days and under stage lights.
Make-A-Wish made one of my dreams come true. I was a sophomore in high school and was able to spend a couple days in NYC with my parents and my best friend Julie. We did all the normal tourist attractions like the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Macy's, Times Square, and the ferris wheel in Toys 'R' Us. I also wanted to give back, so I volunteered to help in a soup kitchen that fed the homeless! The highlight of the trip and the wish being granted was to dance on Broadway. I had the incredible honor of having a private dance lesson with the dance captain of Broadway's Beauty & the Beast. Beauty & the Beast is my all-time favorite movie because I can relate to both main characters so well. The dance captain was so impressed with my ability to dance and pick up choreography that he ended up teaching me three of the routines from the show, instead of just the one he thought he would get through. I even got to use one of the props! And the entire lesson was on the actual stage...I stood on a Broadway stage!!! The Beast's castle was right behind me. We got a full backstage tour and that night got to see the show and meet the cast. The whole cast said they had heard so much about me and my dancing talent. I think the sweetest moment for me was a month and a half later, the day of my dress rehearsal for my dance recital back home. I received a dancer figurine from the entire cast wishing me luck at my dance show! How amazing is that?! It made me feel so good that they remembered that important event and me. Since that Make-A-Wish trip, I returned to see the musical two more times. The man who played the beast was still the same. He even remembered me! And to this day, I still stay in touch with the woman who was the pianist for the show. I fondly call her Aunt Amy.
Since then, I graduated cum laude from Eastern University with a music degree in piano. I still love dancing and teach at my local dance studio now. The biggest news, though, is that I competed in my first beauty pageant. It was something I always wanted to do, but with a skin disorder, I never thought I would have a shot at winning. Well, I am proud to say that I am your reigning Ms. Pennsylvania and National first runner up!
Thank you again for the incredible gift you gave me of dancing on Broadway."
To learn more about Bailey, please visit her Facebook page.