• MT Duvall

What's a walking coach and do I really need one?

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

It never fails to make me smile when, after a session focused on walking, a client says to me, "I didn't really think I'd have to think so much about walking." If you're not in the pageant (or modeling) world, you're likely looking blankly at this page thinking, I know how to walk... duh.

Okay, yes.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to hit all the marks during a walking pattern. But, to do it with finesse and in a way that sets you apart from the other ladies doing the exact same pattern? Well, it turns out that takes a bit more than simply showing up in a pair of killer heels from Diverse Style by Sydni Dion --- although that is a great starting point!

While I coach all competition areas for pageants and age divisions ranging from Miss USA to the National American Miss Princess division, walking is something that I know is best 'taught' in person. Over the years, I've developed methods that allow for practice and feedback on walking and modeling virtually. But, at the end of the day, nothing compares to being able to literally move you, walk right next to you, and get all up in your business pre-COVID style to show you how a slight tuck of your tummy or roll of your shoulders make or break or make your walk. For clients local to Richmond, Virginia, I love being able to work live and in-studio. But, I've discovered, working with clients across the country, it's key to have some go-to experts that make coaching on walking more accessible to clients who don't have a trip to Virginia in their future.

Lucky you, I have 5 walking coaches from across the country, who I know have an incredible track record and expertise when it comes to helping you walk your winning walk. I recommend these fabulous people with no hesitation. I even took the time to compile some details on who they are, what they offer, and how you can get on their calendar.

Kari's client, Annie, snagged the Miss Massachusetts Teen USA title in 2019.


Kari Volen with Pageant Coaching & Designs

Who she is: Kari has been involved in pageantry for over 20 years as a contestant, director, choreographer, judge, producer, and coach. Kari began her own pageant journey as a local and state competitor for systems like American Coed Pageants, Miss Teen USA, and the Miss America Organization.

Where she's located: Orange County, CA (about 20 minutes from Disneyland)

What she coaches for: Most major systems such as USA, IJM, RIM, NAM, UNM, and HSA

What she offers: Kari works with clients both in person at her studio location and virtually. She does travel and coach on-location for a variety of pageants throughout the year. She is currently accepting new clients.

How to book: You can reach out to Kari via email at pageantcoachinganddesigns@gmail.com


Christine Harmeyer with Winning With Christine

Christine's client, Suahnee, won both the Runway and Overall Fashion Model titles at NAM Nationals 2020.

Who she is: Christine is a former pageant competitor placing 2nd runner up in the Miss USA system and winning Mrs. Ohio America. She's been traveling the country as a coach/consultant and national speaker since 2008. Christine works hard to give her clients and referrals the best walking and stage modeling skills. She values partnering with other coaches to create a client's' dream team.' Christine spends a great deal of time studying stage performances and watching videos of walking from different pageant systems to keep her clients fresh.

Where she's located: Dayton, Ohio

What she coaches for: Christine can help contestants in any system and regularly works with UNM, IUM, MAC, IJM, and Captivating. However, she feels her specialty is the Miss USA/Teen USA system as well as NAM and Mrs. America.

What she offers: Christine works with clients in-person in her home studio, on-location at pageants, virtually via Zoom/FaceTime (which she still feels works extremely well). She is open to negotiating travel to clients for sessions as needed. She often works in Columbus, OH, and has recently traveled to Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Louisville, Chicago, and Orlando to coach boot camps and sessions. She is accepting new clients for 2021.

How to book: You can reach out to Christine via email at glamgirl24@hotmail.com

Faith Tyrell and Katie Lyons with Queenies & Crowns

Q&Cs client, Mariah, snagged the NAM National Runway title in 2019.

Who they are: Newer to the coaching scene, these ladies are no strangers to the world of pageantry. Katie was a former NAM National Queen, and Faith is a former Miss Teen Kansas World who was recently was named 1st Runner-Up to the Miss Kansas USA title.

Where they're located: Kansas City, Missouri

What they coach for: Faith and Katie work with many systems, including NAM, POA, Miss Elementary, RIM, and Teen USA.

What they offer: These ladies have an in-home studio and also work virtually and on-location. They are currently accepting clients for 2021.

How to book: You can reach out to Faith and Katie via email at qandcconsulting@gmail.com


Wes Gandy with Perfect Image Consulting

Who he is: Wes got involved in pageantry at the age of 16 when he started producing his High School pageant before judging locally. Since then, he's judged on the local, state, and national levels for over a decade. These experiences evaluating contestants across different systems has helped him develop his own unique method of coaching. Wes believes that contestants should never be coached on "how to be" but should rather focus on utilizing their unique abilities to become their best selves.

Where he's located: Alabama

What he coaches for: All systems but a special interest in Elementary America as he is a National Sponsor!

What he offers: Wes offers in-person sessions as well as virtual lessons. He is also available to travel for group coaching sessions --- for example, he will be in the Las Vegas area this Spring.

How to book: You can reach out to Wes via email at picprep@gmail.com


Antoneo Lee with A LEE Lady

Who he is: Antoneo has worked with some of your favorite Miss USAs, such as Kara McCullough and Deshauna Barber. He is a professional runway coach and really knows his stuff regarding walking, modeling, and posing. I personally had the opportunity to work with Antoneo when I made my post-2nd baby pageant comeback --- he pushed me while still making the process fun.

Where he's located: Charlotte, NC

What he coaches for: Antoneo is well versed in USA and Teen USA but has also helped clients succeed at Cosmos, UNM, and IJM.

What he offers: Antoneo offers on-location sessions and travels the East Coast, offering training.

How to book: You can reach out to Antoneo via Instagram @aleelady_

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