Journey to the Spotlight: From NYIT to the Miss USA stage

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One NYIT graduate student has big dreams of reaching the spotlight and she is well on her way getting there. Danielle Cinone is currently a Communication Arts grad student at NYIT’s Old Westbury campus and she not only has big dreams, but also big accomplishments. From January 17th to January 19th Danielle was in the spotlight. She represented Smithtown in the 2014 Miss New York USA Pageant that took place at Purchase College in Westchester.

“I decided to compete in the Miss NY USA pageant, to have the chance to not only win the crown, but also to network with others, set personal goals for myself, further raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis and most importantly to market myself. I hope to host my own television talk show one day, so in order to make that happen, I believe it is necessary to take part in any opportunity I come across that can make me a better person, both physically and mentally” says Danielle.

Danielle is no stranger to the spotlight though. Danielle is currently an ice girl for the New York Islanders, has a show on NYIT’s own student run network, Globesville ( based on the competition). Fellow peers at NYIT know just how hard Danielle works and fellow Communication Arts grad student Catherine Gulotta had the opportunity to work with Danielle on her “Journey to the Spotlight” show on Globesville. Catherine says “After working with Danielle on her show, Journey to the Spotlight, I’ve got to know her better as a good friend and hard worker. She is one of the most motivated people I know at NYIT and I know she is definitely going to go places. She is opened to new things and always excited to learn.” Outside of her NYIT success and hard work, Danielle has also been doing pageants for 7 years, starting at age 17. As a senior in high school she competed in the Miss New York Teen USA pageant, where she ending up placing in the top 20 out of 180 competitors. Since then she’s competed in multiple other pageants such as Miss Long Island, and she’s had much success. Danielle has held the title of Miss Earth Atlantic Coast 2011 and even earned the opportunity to represent Italy in an international beauty pageant in Romania this past summer. Hard work comes hand in hand with being successful in pageants and Danielle trained for this year’s 2014 Miss NY USA pageant. She obtained a pageant runway coach, interview coach and received a diet plan from a nutritionist. Along with that comes the practice of speaking skills and answering over 500 different interview questions.

The pageant contained three different competitions, which included the swimsuit competition, evening gown competition, and a 3-minute interview by the judges. There was a panel of 7 judges, with familiar faces such as Rohan Marley, an entrepreneur and son of Bob Marley. The swimsuit portion allows the judges can see how toned and the overall health of the contestant. The evening gown competition allows the judges to see elegance, beauty, and the contestants overall onstage presence. The interview portion is 3 minutes long and was based solely on the interview form the contestants handed in.

Danielle’s hard work proved to be successful in this year’s 2014 Miss NY USA pageant and she placed in the top 20 out of 171 contestants. She had to re-compete in the swimsuit and evening gown competitions in front of the judges again, who later narrow it down to only 5 contestants, and eventually just one. Placing in the top 20 out of 171 contestants is a great success for Danielle and proof that hard work pays off. “Even though I didn’t win, I placed top 20 out of 171 women, I not only feel empowered, but I have more confidence than ever before and feel that I can achieve anything I want in life” Danielle said.

Danielle spoke highly of the pageant experience in general, and said, “Overall the pageant was very exciting! I believe it is extremely important to surround yourself with people you want to be like and admire. I can gladly say that I admire and am proud of every contestant I met. All of the women were hard working, intelligent, and beautiful individuals, who just like myself, want a chance to make another dream come true. This pageant represents hope and instills a drive to succeed in many of the contests.” To Danielle Cinone the pageant also goes deeper than just a performance on stage and her goals are better than just winning. She uses her platform on the spotlight for a good cause to raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis, something that she has seen first hand in her life. “My cousin was diagnosed with MS, and through seeing her struggle with blindness, paralysis, and emotional distress, I want to further my advocacy and be more involved in the National MS Society” Danielle says. She would use her winning to specifically plan events to raise MS awareness. In a world of pageants that sometimes carries controversy, Danielle proves that there is much good use in being in the spotlight in pageants.

Don’t think that you won’t be seeing more from Danielle Cinone. “I will be competing in the Miss Long Island Pageant in August 2014 and further raising awareness for Multiple Sclerosis” she concludes. She also aspires to host her own television talk show in the future and compete again in the Miss NY US pageant next year. She also will be traveling to Costa Rica to take part in a community service program for one week. As for now, Danielle’s journey to the spotlight can be watched on NYIT’s student run network, Globesville. “My favorite quote is, “Do not follow where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail,” Danielle said “I hope to inspire others and make a difference in the world!” It’s easy to say that Danielle Cinone will be a name that we will not only hear in the NYIT community spotlight, but also in the global spotlight in the near future.

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Journey to the Spotlight: From NYIT to the Miss USA stage