Catching Up with CMS Finalist Tatiana Melendez

We’re thrilled for our Cover Model Search winner Briar Nolet—but we also love our two runners-up, Kerrynton Jones and Tatiana Melendez. Dance Spirit editor Olivia Manno talked to Tatiana about what she’s been up to since her NYC visit.


(Photo by Erin Baiano)

DS: What have you been up to since your trip to NYC?

TM: Since the trip, I attended the Houston Ballet summer intensive for 6 weeks and am still currently training at the Houston Ballet Academy in the professional division (it's my second year!). I've been involved in two performances so far: Stanton Welch's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra and "Full Circle" by Oliver Halkowich in Sustatined by Breath and Line.


DS: What was your favorite part about the whole experience?

TM: My favorite part of the experience was having the opportunity to work with so many incredible people, as well as getting to know and dance with the two other phenomenal finalists, Briar and Kerrynton. Everyone was so positive and fun to be around—it's an experience I'll never forget. Oh, and of course seeing Finding Neverland on Broadway and site-seeing around NYC were highlights!


DS: Any exciting dance things coming up in the next few months?

TM: Since the trip, I've become a JJGirl and represent Jo + Jax. I've also been preparing for Houston Ballet's brand new Nutcracker production, which runs from November through December.


DS: Do you have any advice for future CMS finalists?

TM: The best advice I can give is to just be yourself and not be afraid to stand out or be different. Really absorb everything and don't take anything for granted. Lastly, have fun! There's no reason to hold back.


Check out Tatiana's letter to readers!

Dear Readers,

Wow, where to begin? I want to start by saying how incredible this experience was and how much it meant to me. The amount of love and support that I received throughout this process is something I cannot even fathom. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share, comment, campaign and vote for me! I am so incredibly grateful and overwhelmed by this entire experience. I also want to thank the entire Dance Spirit team and the two other dancers and friends that I shared this journey with, Kerrynton and Briar, for making this experience so unforgettable. I wouldn't have been able to do it without you all and am so grateful to have been given this opportunity of a lifetime! 


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