PHOTOS VIDEO Meet Dakota Redding from TLC’s “Bama Belles”

Meet Dakota Redding of TLC's Bama Belles

TLC’s Real Housewives style documentary Bama Belles premieres Sunday, December 5 and introduces us to five very different women from the small town of Dothan, Alabama.

Horse riding Bama Belle babe Dakota ReddingAs you may have realized from our previous profile on recently relocated New York City internet entrepreneur Val Tignini some of the ladies are transplants to the South, and such is the case with Dakota Redding – a rodeo ridin’ occupational therapist assistant and Army Reservist originally from North Dakota.

Yes, you read all of that right, and it’s only part of Stephanie Rae “Dakota” Redding’s amazing life story that began in Mandan, North Dakota 24 years ago.

From early on Dakota developed an affinity for team roping and riding horses with her dad, who she considers her best friend. Here’s a recent video of Dakota and her dad on a rather warm North Dakota day doing what she loves best:

But daddy’s girl is also close to her mother and admits, “My mom is my voice of reason and does her best to keep me grounded. She always has great advice and all to often I find myself wishing I would have just taken her advice and did what she said.”

Her affection for her only sister is a little more tumultuous, but not less lacking in love. “We have the typical sibling rivalry that so many have,” Dakota says, “but she is my one and only sister and no matter how many fist fights we have, I’ll put another person’s head through a bus window for her.” And don’t think for a minute that Dakota is exaggerating! “Yeah, I really beat up a kid on the school bus for making fun of my little sister,” she confesses.

Dakota Redding from Bama Belles

The day after graduating from high school in 2004, Dakota enlisted in the North Dakota Army National Guard and would eventually transfer to the Army Reserve in 2006. She attended OTA (occupational therapist assistant) school and graduated with honors at the top of her class and became an instructor in 2009, teaching combat medicine, EMT, and CPR.

Bama Belles star Dakota Redding sports a sexy bikini top“Almost 2 years ago now, after 5 ankle surgeries to rebuild both my ankles, I moved to Alabama to start a great new job and hopefully a great new relationship,” Dakota says of her move to Dothan. “Not a week after I moved there the relationship was a bust, but I loved my new job and my new friends. I met what I thought was the love of my life which led me to meet Amie [Pollard] and all my girls. We got married but it didn’t lead to happily ever after.”

The show documents Dakota’s dramatic return to Dothan after spending six months back home in North Dakota, and drama ensues as she adapts to the new girl in town, Val Tignini. Here’s a funny scene of Dakota and Val not hitting it off so well as the topic of missing teeth among others watching the race gets Dakota a little riled up. (Something I don’t think you want to do. Remember the school bus? Angering Dakota may lead to you missing some teeth yourself!)

Despite her bad romance Dakota isn’t without a special guy in her life. “The greatest man in my life is my 6 year old nephew, who I love more than anyone in this world.”

So has Aunt Dakota written off romance completely? She addresses that question and offers up her perspective on the present and the future by saying, ” Until the day my cowboy comes to carry me away; I am happy being daddy’s little girl, momma’s (almost) angel, and the most supportive big sister and auntie I can be. For now that’s all I got figured out, but I will keep y’all updated.”

And just in case you weren’t intimidated enough already by Dakota’s impressive resume, I’d like to offer up yet another of her many talents…


Bama Belles star Dakota Redding surfing in Hawaii

I don’t know about the Army thing, I think a brighter future for Dakota might be to create the world’s first professional surfing rodeo! Although some folks might get a bit squeamish during the dolphin roping.

Tune in for Dakota Redding and all the ladies of Bama Belles Sundays at 10/9c on TLC beginning December 5! Oh, and check out our profiles of the other Bama Belles including internet entrepreneur Val Tignini and South Alabama born former beauty queen and current inboard boat dealership co-owner Melissa McLaney!