Still kingly: Escorts tell their tales

Although the Mr. Brookwood pageant was canceled last year due to low participation and a lack of community involvement, many senior boys still find ways to contribute and exude the attitude of a king. In terms of the canceled pageant, dance teacher and pageant organizer Ellen Tshudy said she was not sure how long it had been running before she was in charge.

“I’ve been here 11 years, but it was done before I got here, so I would say between 15 and 20 years,” said Tshudy. “It could definitely come back if I had a lot of interest. If that’s something I find a lot of interest for, I would bring it back.”

For the Miss Brookwood pageant, senior boys are recruited to act as escorts for the contestants in addition to performing a separate dance on stage. Many escorts do not initially intend to join.

“It was honestly a joke at first,” said senior Cameron Howell. “And then the girls that wanted me to do it convinced me that it would be a good idea.”

Howell said that learning the dance was difficult since some of the moves “were really quick”. He also said that while he did not see much of the pageant aside from his escorting duties, he thought that “escorting the girls was probably the best part because I got to calm them down before walking them”. In addition to those with no prior stage experience, some of the escorts are dance team members who understand what the performance required from them.

“One thing you have to have as a dancer is to catch on to the choreography quickly,” said senior KJ Carter. “And many of the escorts weren’t dancers. It wasn’t meant to be a serious dance; it was meant to be something to laugh about.”

Like Howell, Carter also joined due to encouragement from some of his friends but also joined because Tshudy needed escorts. He also happened to have “a free Saturday night”. Some of the dance members mentioned liking the moves they used in their performance.

“There was a part in the choreography where one escort flipped over another escort.” said senior Denzel Chinchilla. “And we had a finishing move where we slid on the ground. Pretty cool, if I say so myself.”

Some of the escorts found that their jobs allowed them to find interest in doing new things.“It made me realize that you just need to have fun and then things work out standing outside your comfort zone,” said Howell.

For others, they saw the importance of the pageant to the contestants and encouraged them throughout the night.“Seeing the amount of stress the girls had really opened my eyes to see that this is a big thing,” said Carter. “But it also felt really good to see my friends, to cheer them on and make them feel good about themselves.”

There may no longer be a pageant for the boys, but they still express chivalrous deeds to make them worthy of crowns.

Mallard, Michael
Seniors Cameron Howell and Denzel Chinchilla reenact their “Single Ladies” dance from the pageant show. (Photo by Kwoineh Haba)

Mallard, Michael
Senior KJ Carter makes a sign for “put a ring on it”, referencing his “Single Ladies” choreography from the pageant show. (Photo by Kwoineh Haba)