Students compete for Mr. Dartmouth crown

By Douglas McCulloch | Mar 10, 2018
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch Dane Ashton wears the Mr. Dartmouth crown as he celebrates his win with friends.

Most of his fellow students know Dartmouth High senior Dane Ashton on the football field, but he wants his classmates to know about his other hidden talents.

That’s why he picked painting for the talent portion of his performance at the Mr. Dartmouth pageant. It’s a move that won him a standing ovation from the audience, and first prize at the annual show on March 10.

“I play football, but one of the hobbies I’ve had throughout my whole life has been art,” Ashton said. “It’s one of my hidden talents and I thought it would be a perfect night to show it.”

Of course, his five-minute performance didn’t just feature him painting. For most of his segment, he completed his painting upside down, making it indistinguishable even after a big reveal. But it was a fake reveal, as he flipped the painting upside down to reveal a portrait of none other than Michael Jackson as his music filled the auditorium.

The subject and song choice was a nod to Ashton’s first choice at a skit. He originally planned to dance, but ran into a problem.

“Two days before rehearsals I was too shy to dance,” Ashton said. “I didn’t have any good dance moves, but one of the songs I was going was Michael Jackson.”

Ashton also coordinated a swimsuit skit as part of the show with his nine fellow contestants. Initially wanting to do something different than last year’s synchronized swimming, he decided to incorporate his new hobby of swimming.

In second place at the pageant was Luke Tisdelle, while Brandon McNeil rounded out the top three.

Mr. Dartmouth is a yearly tradition at Dartmouth High, which also incorporates a fundraising aspect too.

As part of the competition, each contestant was challenged with raising money for Helping Hands, a charity that helps students. Students also collected donations at the event.

Students in the swimsuit round. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Contestants line up during the formal wear segment. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Students perform in a skit during the show. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Contestants perform during an opening dance. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Joe El Tom (center) performs as "Joe the Science Guy" in a talent skit. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
At the end of the swimsuit skit, contestants hoist a defeated shark up after a battle. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Nate Ellis performs a rap for his talent. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Dane Ashton works on his upside-down Michael Jackson portrait. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
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