Rachel Di Stasio was crowned Miss New York USA 2023 on 6 August 2023 and will represent New York at the Miss USA 2023 pageant in Reno, Nevada. Rachel is a native of Nashville who moved to New York City in her teens to join the American Ballet Theatre. A former professional dancer, she is now a model signed with Wilhemina.
Born in Palo Alto, CA and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Rachelle’s story began when she enrolled in creative dance classes with Nashville Ballet at the age of eight and making her professional debut performing the lead role of Clara in Nashville Ballet’s Nutcracker at the age of thirteen. This firmly solidified how strong her passion was for dance and performance on the stage. At the age of fourteen, Rachelle possessed such evident talent that she was offered a paid traineeship with Nashville Ballet under a six-year contract.
Rachelle had a different dream in mind though, turning down the offer in favor of pursuing training in New York and – all going well – finding a place in one of her favorite major ballet companies. The leap of faith paid off and Rachelle was accepted into all five of the prestigious schools she auditioned for, which meant uprooting her and her mother’s lives in Nashville and making the 800-mile move to New York City.
Within two years, and before she even graduated high school, Rachelle was accepted to American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School on full scholarship, followed by ABT’s Studio Company, and eventually performing with ABT professionally.
While still dancing, Rachelle made her international television debut as the principle ‘Hero Ballerina’ in a Samsung commercial directed by Mark Romanek. She was also featured in Paris Vogue with Anja Rubik and photographed by Mario Sorrenti. Other highlights for Rachelle, during her dance career, include Under Armor campaigns, SavageX Fenty: Back to School shoot and gracing the cover of major dance magazines.
Rachelle’s second television appearance was as a featured model in Randy Fenoli’s Say Yes To The Dress on the TLC Network.
What makes all of Rachelle’s accomplishments even more impressive is that since the age of four years old she was fighting a secret battle. As a survivor of sexual assault, Rachelle’s charitable work with the RAINN organization is near and dear to her heart. Part of her platform is helping other victims, so sharing her own story publicly during her first pageant was a big part of her healing. Women everywhere should know that their past doesn’t affect their self-worth or who they are.
“It’s not letting past challenges define you,” she told the New York Post in a recent interview after taking home the Miss New York crown. “I believe that my story brings hope for other people — it’s not just about me anymore. It’s about sharing and being vulnerable, so people don’t feel alone.”
Rachelle’s life ambition is to establish a foundation to support fellow survivors and people struggling with mental health. She’s currently signed with Elite Model Management NY and Innovative Artists NY pursuing both a full-time modeling and acting career.
The on-stage moments, the tension of the final two and the glory of the crowning, here are Rachelle’s state pageant photos.
Lights, camera, action! Professional photoshoots are one of the perks that comes from winning a title.
Rachelle first competed in the 2021 pageant, finishing second runner-up to Briana Siaca and then made the top 11 last year.