By Cary Shuman
Julia Scaparotti is an excellent athlete and a former New England Patriots cheerleader so she understands the importance of training in advance of a competition.
Scaparotti, Miss Massachusetts USA 2017, has been working out diligently at Soul Cycle, 500 Boylston St., Boston, in preparation for the Miss USA Pageant to be held next week at the Mandalay Hotel in Las Vegas. The pageant will be televised live on FOX Television Sunday, May 14. Actress and television personality Julianne Hough and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Ashley Graham will be the hosts.
The 5-foot-7-inch, Peabody resident won the Miss Massachusetts USA title in November at the Lowell Auditorium, beating out 80 contestants. She has been making celebrity appearances in her new position, but much of her time has been spent getting ready for the national pageant.
Scaparotti, 25, has been taking classes at Soul Cycle, where she says her favorite instructor is Sal. “I absolutely hate running, so spinning is a great alternative. Soul Cycle is a cycling studio where you spin to the rhythm of the music. It’s 45 minutes of sweat, fun, and they preach the same ideals as yoga. It really is my therapy and relieves a lot of stress.”
She said the goal of her workouts at Soul Cycle is “to be strong, fit, and to be better every day.”
“I don’t focus on a number on a scale or have a goal weight. The tools my trainer Janelle has given me have helped me be in the best shape of my life and I feel healthy and confident to rock the national stage.”
In addition to her workouts at Soul Cycle in the Back Bay and Beacon Hill, there are other Boston connections to her pageant preparations.
“LIT Boutique in the North End and Newbury Street have styled me for the two weeks of the pageant and have helped me with casual and cocktail dresses to wear while I am in Las Vegas,” said Scaparotti.
Scaparotti grew up in Peabody and graduated in 2009 from Peabody High where she played on the girls basketball team coached by Jane Heil and also performed in school musicals.
She attended the University of Rhode Island where she was the recruitment vice president of the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. She spent her junior year abroad in Florence, Italy, and received her degree in Communications and Film and Media.
Scaparotti competed in her first pageant as a 15-year-old and entered state competitions in the Miss USA pageant system three times.
“The third time was a charm,” she said.
What was it like to hear her name announced as the winner of the state pageant?
“It was really a dream come true,” she said. “I wanted that title. It’s such a prestigious title in the pageant world. It’s the top of the top. I don’t think it really hit me right away what my year was going to be like and how my life was going to change. I’ve had this title for six months and I’ve had so much fun.”
Scaparotti said as a child she used to watch the Miss USA Pageant every year on television.
“I used to sit and watch the pageant with my parents, so it hasn’t sunk in yet that I’m going to be on television and not at home watching it.”
Scaparotti was a New England Patriots cheerleader for the past two seasons. She was present at the Super Bowl in Houston for the PatriotsÄô dramatic come-from-behind victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
“We flew out for the Super Bowl Thursday and once we landed, it was non-stop television, appearances, and pep rallies,” said Scaparotti. “We volunteered at the Children’s Hospital in Houston. We were super busy.”
Scaparotti, who hopes to work in the television industry full time, is currently an on-air personality for Dirty Water TV. She held an internship position at WJAR-TV in Rhode Island and has worked at CBS Radio.
Scaparotti is grateful to her personal trainer, Janelle Nicolo Montero at Body Ambition in Middleton, for her assistance. She also thanks her coach, Kaetlin Parent, for preparing her for the national pageant.
“My coach is a former Miss Maine Teen USA and Miss Maine USA. She has been by my side every step of the way and I couldn’t have done it without her.”
Her parents, Rich and Colleen, and her older sister, Lauren, and other relatives will be in Las Vegas rooting on the little girl who used to sit in front of the television and dream that one day she could be on the national stage.
That day has arrived.