Catapult Entertainment Lives in the Shadows

Here's the thing about competition shows: It seems like runners-up often go on to do just as well, if not better, than the winners. Take "So You Think You Can Dance" for example: tWitch, Travis Wall, Kathryn McCormick, Mark Kanemura...none of them were crowned "America's Favorite Dancer." But let's be real—America's obsessed with them, and they've been hugely successful.

Catapult and YMCA teamed up to teach kids valuable life lessons

Turns out, "America's Got Talent" is no different. After competing on the show last season, Connecticut-based dance troupe Catapult Entertainment has experienced a huge surge in popularity and demand, both in the U.S. and internationally. (In other words, "AGT" really catapulted their careers...amiright??)

Founded in 2008 by dancer-choreographer Adam Battelstein, Catapult specializes in shadow dancing, which is exactly what it sounds like: a super, mega, deluxe version of shadow theater. One of the coolest things about the company is that it's made up of freelance dancers from all different backgrounds (which, as Battelstein points out, makes scheduling rehearsals tricky!). Regardless of their backgrounds, what these dancers can do with their bodies is pretty incredible.

Another unique thing about this company? Notice how it's called Catapult Entertainment? That's because it started out as a corporate entertainment company. Various companies—such as Girl Scouts USA, IBM and Project Hope—have hired Catapult to perform custom presentations. They use their bodies to communicate their clients' messages. This spring, for example, they worked with YMCA to teach kids valuable lessons, like supporting your neighbor and leading a healthy lifestyle.

But now that they've got the national recognition (and a growing international fan base—the troupe just finished a tour in Germany), they should able to branch out from the corporate sphere and communicate some messages of their own. It'll be interesting to see! Look out for announcements on Catapult's U.S. tour, then check out this video, where Battelstein shares some of the secrets and thought processes behind their work:

Dance News
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:

Read Darriel's profile here

Read Diego's profile here

Read Emma's profile here

And then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Madison Jordan and Jarrod Tyler Paulson brought their real-life romance to the audition stage. (Adam Rose/FOX)

It's usually right around the third or fourth week of "So You Think You Can Dance" audition rounds that we start itching for the live shows. Sure, the auditions are fun, inspiring, and entertaining, but at a certain point, we reach audition saturation. (And the live shows are just so good and feature so much more Cat Deeley.)

All that said, Nigel and co. kept things spicy this week, so our attention remained firmly glued to the screen. (It's been 16 seasons—who are we to doubt Nigel Lythgoe, sir?) Here's how it all went down.

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Photo by Erin Baiano

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