Photo by Erin Baiano

Catching Up with Cover Model Search Finalist Diego Pasillas

We're thrilled for our Cover Model Search winner, Darriel Johnakin—but we also love our two runners-up, Diego Pasillas and Emma Sutherland! We talked to Diego about how life has changed since his NYC visit for the contest.

Diego performing his solo "Dive in the Water" at Radix Nationals (courtesy the Pasillas family)

Hi, Diego! What've you been up to since your trip to NYC?

Well, I got my driver's license, which was really cool! And I got a car. I spent a lot of time at the studio training for Radix Nationals, which paid off, because I won Teen Male Core Performer! That was obviously really nice. And I attended several intensives—DancerPalooza in Long Beach, and a program at my studio called Transform—and did some assisting with my mentor, Shannon Mather.

Turn sixteen, pass the driving test, get a car: check, check, check! (courtesy the Pasillas family)

You put on a really strong campaign. What strategies did you use?

It was a lot of posting on my Instagram story all day, asking people to vote and keep voting, and then posting pictures on my main social media pages so I stayed on everyone's radar. Lots of reminding people that they could vote every day.

What was your favorite part of the whole Cover Model Search experience?

I definitely loved seeing peoples' reactions to all the photos! I've never really done a dance photo shoot before—or at least not since I was, like, 7. And then to see all my family members and friends voting was really nice. People were super supportive—I really felt the love.

What upcoming projects and events are you excited about?

Mostly I'm excited about touring with Radix all this next season!

Diego with his Teen Male Core Performer award at Radix Nationals (courtesy the Pasillas family)

What are your goals for this upcoming year?

To get into more classes in L.A. and get my name out there, since I'm going to be graduating high school in a couple of years and beginning my professional career. I want to start to vibe with choreographers in the industry.

Do you have any advice for future CMS finalists?

Take in every single moment, because this is very special and such an amazing opportunity!

Photo by Erin Baiano

Dance Spirit family!

First of all, I wanted to thank God for blessing me and surrounding me with all of you wonderful people! And big thanks to everyone who voted for me and supported me on social media during the voting campaign. It was an honor to win Editors' Choice, and then to be a finalist was a dream come true. Photographer Erin Baiano made the shoot super-fun, and the entire
Dance Spirit staff took great care of us. Darriel, Emma, and I hit it off immediately, and we had so much fun in such a short time! Finally, I'd like to give thanks to all the choreographers at Mather Dance Company—especially Shannon Mather and Addison Holmes.


Latest Posts

Because you know you've always wondered... (Getty Images)

Sounding Off: Here's What Your Favorite Musicians Think of Dance Routines Set to Their Songs

In the competition world, a small group of musicians has attained almost cultlike status, with choreographers turning to their tracks over and over. We know how we feel about these bangers—there's a reason we can't stop dancing to them—but how do the musicians feel about us? We caught up with three contemporary artists whose music has dominated the competition scene recently, and gauged their reactions to the dances set to their life's work.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
King Kong on Broadway (Joan Marcus, courtesy Bonneau/Brian-Brown)

Follow the Path of a Broadway Musical from Concept to Opening Night

The curtain rises, the crowd goes wild, and the bright lights of Broadway shine down as you make your debut on opening night…it's every Broadway baby's dream. But you may be surprised to learn that a show's journey to the Great White Way can be months, or even years, in the making. How does a production go from concept to curtain call? We spoke to industry veterans about what happens at every stage.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Jordan Fisher (center) in a dance scene from Work It (Brendan Adam-Zwelling/Netflix)

Here's Why Jordan Fisher Thinks You Should Be Excited for Netflix's New Dance Film, "Work It"

If you're looking for a sign that 2020 might *just* be turning around, look no further than Netflix's new dance-centric film Work It. The movie comes out this Friday, August 7, and the hype is real. ICYMI, the film follows high school senior Quinn Ackerman, played by none other than Sabrina Carpenter, as she attempts to lead her dance team to a competition win in order to bolster her chances of being admitted to the college of her dreams. One small challenge: Quinn isn't a dancer.

Enter Jordan Fisher as Jake Taylor, a talented-but-troubled choreographer and dancer, to help Quinn lead the team. We had the chance to speak with Fisher about his experience on set, and why Work It just might be the dance movie we've all been waiting for.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search