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Loren Galler Rabinowitz crowned Miss Massachusetts

Former ice dancer to compete in Miss America

Former U.S. ice dance medalist Loren Galler Rabinowitz was crowned Miss Massachusetts and will compete in the Miss America pageant next January.
Former U.S. ice dance medalist Loren Galler Rabinowitz was crowned Miss Massachusetts and will compete in the Miss America pageant next January. (Paul Bousquet Photography)

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By Lois Elfman, special to icenetwork.com
(07/01/2010) - She's won regionals and sectionals and now Loren Galler Rabinowitz is headed to the national championships. But this time the 2002 U.S. junior ice dance champion, 2004 senior bronze medalist is going solo... and there's no ice involved. On Saturday night, Rabinowitz was named Miss Massachusetts and next January she will compete for the title of Miss America.

"I'm really committed to putting myself through medical school as much as I can," says Rabinowitz, 24, who graduated from Harvard University on May 27. "The Miss America Organization, which is the largest scholarship program for women in the world, is a great fit for me. As a future pediatrician, I am excited to be a spokesperson for the Children's Miracle Network, Miss America's national platform, and to continue to promote my personal platform of 'Fighting Childhood Hunger.'"

Miss America continues to be a scholarship pageant. As Rabinowitz entered her senior year at Harvard last fall, her father thought he'd made his last tuition payment to the great institution. What the family soon learned is that her 18-year-old twin sisters would be entering Harvard in the fall of 2010 as part of a joint program with the New England Conservatory of Music. That news in hand, Rabinowitz was determined to ease the burden on her parents, both physicians, by coming up with creative means of financing medical school.

Last November, she entered the state pageant for Miss USA.

"I walked in completely blind and I made top 10," she says, joking that she was a foot and a half shorter than anybody else. While that is an exaggeration, at 5'2½" she is definitely more petite than the average contestant.

Soon after, Rabinowitz was approached by a pageant consultant who told her that she was better suited for Miss America, especially given her commitment to public service and charity work.

"It sort of took off from there," she says. Soon after she won her local pageant, Miss Collegiate Area, and was headed to the state pageant. Unquestionably, the discipline that she had in skating helped her along the way.

"In terms of being physically prepared, it's similar in a lot of ways," Rabinowitz says. "There are certain aesthetics that have to be met."

Although Rabinowitz has been coaching at the Skating Club of Boston throughout college, she has not really performed in the four years since she and partner David Mitchell made their final appearance at the U.S. Championships. She says she missed both the chance to perform in front of an audience and the daily rigors of training. To get in top shape for Miss Massachusetts, she coached at the rink and then headed to the gym.

As a self-described "peanut" in a world of "beautiful amazons," Rabinowitz still felt right at home. "You don't have to be 5'10" and blonde to win. Miss America takes a much broader view of what it means to be beautiful," she says.

"The skating training comes in handy -- the posture and balance on enormously high heels," she adds. "If you can do it on an eighth of an inch blade, then you can do it on stilettos."

The pageants in the Miss America system involve a talent competition, and Rabinowitz secured her win by clinching that portion with a piano performance. She studied music throughout her skating career. Her current skating students were on hand at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, Mass., for the two nights of competition. The former movie theatre underwent an extensive renovation a few years ago, and is now an exquisite venue.

"I was walking around in my gown beforehand and thinking, 'This could be a place where I could imagine being a princess.' I had not anticipated actually coming out with a crown on, but that's the way it worked out," Rabinowitz says.

Preparations for the Miss America pageant will not interfere with her plans for medical school, as she did not anticipate entering until the fall of 2011 (to be extended by another year if she wins in Las Vegas in January). The med school application process is intense, and Rabinowitz focused her senior year at Harvard on writing a 70-page manuscript she titled "The Invisible Encyclopedia of Dance," which ultimately won her Harvard's English prize.

She will continue to coach skating over the coming months, and she relishes the role of mentor she's taken with some of her students. She not only teaches them the basics of ice dancing, but also assists with SAT preparation and the college application process. A return to competitive skating is; however, out of the question.

"That chapter is definitely closed," Rabinowitz says. "It was an incredible ride while it lasted. It's a big part of the reason why I now have a crown on my head.

"The stress level between Miss Massachusetts and Miss America increases significantly, but I'm basically unflappable. I've always been that way. It's the way I was as a competitor. I don't get nervous, I get excited. The more people watching me, the better I am. It felt really exciting to be back in front of a live audience."

In 2011, the Miss America pageant will return to network TV on ABC, and she's ready for her close up. Between now and then she'll be making appearances as Miss Massachusetts.

"I'm so used to being in a groove where I do so many different things at the same time. It would be strange for me to only do one thing," says Rabinowitz, who is fueled by her family's history of accomplishment. "It's going to be pretty exciting for the next year."