by Mellissa Thomas
That headline is no gimmick. Miss Florida USA 2010 winner Megan Clementi is also a former Orlando Magic dancer and sports journalist. The Jupiter, Florida native has been winning hearts since high school, and hers has been an exciting, nonstop journey since, including joining Orlando International Fashion Week as hostess for the Autism Speaks Benefit Dinner at the Orlando Science Museum November 5, 2014 at 6 p.m. She recently took time out of her hectic schedule to speak with OFM.
Beauty + Brains + Boogie
Beauty + Boogie
While in high school, Clementi got her first taste of dancing before a large crowd – a large international crowd at that. An agent scouted her to audition for Disney’s “Once Upon a Mouse” festival for Tokyo Disneyland. She auditioned and was accepted, and flew the distance to dance as Cinderella for the event’s opening and closing, and as a dancer throughout the show.
She became an Orlando Magic dancer in 2004, and eventually rose to captain. The job naturally transitioned her into modeling. “I didn’t know that I wanted to do this,” she remarked about modeling. “As a captain, I became the spokesperson. I was hired by Hard Knocks Orlando, and modeled for Brazilian swimsuit designer Desiree Nercessian.” Nercessian, who provides swimsuits for pageants, even took Clementi to Paris to model her clothing.
The Orlando Magic dancers also entertained overseas troops in eight different countries during her tenure, along with Sweethearts, a group consisting of former NFL and NBA dancers.
She said she prefers being a brand ambassador. “[It involves] different companies, different locations, and meeting different people. I get bored easily, so I must keep doing new things,” she confessed, laughing. “My new friends are either dancers or pageant contestants.”
Clementi went on to complete her electrical engineering degree at UCF in 2012. No, this wasn’t out of left field: she developed a love for it from her father, who is an electrical engineer and trained her when he did his work as if she were on the job as well.
While she doesn’t use her degree for a full-time living, it certainly came in handy when she auditioned for and landed the co-host gig on “Muscle Car Workout” alongside host Alan Goldstein. “I had won Miss Volusia County USA, and a friend told me about the audition,” she recalled. “Goldstein loved my electrical background. We filmed for two seasons, disassembled vehicles, put an engine together, and I realized I’m actually really good at painting.” The only thing she never did on the show was change oil. She added that the show was popular and went nationwide, and Goldstein became her “second father.”
Her next foray into television came as another Orlando Magic dancer transition. She said her friend Jason Dewberry took her outside her comfort zone to work with the Orlando Sentinel; he nudged her to go on the “Dante & Galante Show” to discuss what the Orlando Magic was doing in the community, and she landed a correspondent gig on Fox Sports Florida’s “Inside the Magic” show. Her three-season run involved “a huge learning curve.” She was also correspondent for XOS Digital, doing web videos for college conference games.
She is now transitioning from sports into entertainment, hosting live events and fashion shows, including hosting Orlando International Fashion Week’s Autism Speaks Benefit Dinner at the Orlando Science Museum.
Miss Florida USA and Her Love for the Community
Clementi never had a dull moment as Miss Florida USA 2010. The pageant winner homed in on charitable causes, which she loves more than anything. “I will always work in the community until I die,” she gushed. “I’ve been that way since I was very young.” She promised she would never say no to any opportunity to help or work in the community while she had her title, and made two hundred sixty-one appearances in the fifty-two weeks she held it.
During that year, she raised funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation by climbing every lighthouse in Florida, volunteered for Give Me the World and spoke at many Kiwanis Club events, and even partnered with the Harris Corporation to start her own scholarship, the Future Female Scientist Award, which awards the winner $3,600. The scholarship partnership was also a result of her Orlando Magic dancer experience – she met the Harris Corporation CEO at a Magic game. “I did it to encourage girls that they can do what they want and not be discouraged.”
Though she no longer holds the title, she remains a community-minded citizen. In July, she spoke at the YMCA Regional Gymnastics competition, encouraging the contestants to see beyond the highly competitive nature of gymnastics to be confident in themselves. Furthermore, she recently wed a basketball coach who is Regional Director for the National Basketball Academy and works with Basketball Assists, a charity that helps underserved children get a chance to play in college, which Dave & Buster’s has already raised $1,000 for.
Clementi’s love for people was fueled by her recent bouts of depression, which she overcame by writing a grateful journal. She aims to become an entertainment journalist, using her platform to focus on the positive things in Florida and in the community.
About the Author:
Orlando Fashion Magazine Chief Editor and Publisher Mellissa Thomas is a Jamaica-born writer. She’s a decorated U.S. Navy veteran with Entertainment Business Masters and Film Bachelors degrees from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.
She’s currently available for hire, writing content for websites, blogs, and marketing material, and as a book coach. She also writes poetry, screenplays, and ghostwrites books.
She has published five books, all available on Amazon.com. Her sixth release, In the Rough, will be available on the Kindle March 31, 2015.
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