Photo by Erin Baiano

2018 Cover Model Search Finalist Jacalyn Tatro

Click here to vote for Jacalyn.

It feels impossible to put the magic of Jacalyn Tatro's dancing into words, but "old soul" is a good place to start. With her coiled-spring energy and crystal-clear technique, Jacalyn imbues choreography with a gravity and poignancy you'd expect from a veteran professional dancer, not a rising college freshman.


Anne Forrest, her teacher of 15 years at Inspire School of Dance in Naperville, IL, saw the depth of Jacalyn's artistry right away. "Even when she was 3, she was ahead of the game," Forrest says. "But I really noticed how much talent she has when I started her first solo, at age 6. I'd taught her in class, but was amazed by how fast she picked up the choreography and how naturally performance came to her. And she works so hard for everything."

"Everything" includes netting New York City Dance Alliance's National Outstanding Dancer title as a Mini, Teen, and Senior; wowing at summer intensives at Francisco Gella Dance Works and Complexions Contemporary Ballet; and modeling for dancewear and costume companies—to name just a few highlights. With that resumé, you might be surprised to hear what Jacalyn's proudest of so far: "College auditions," she says. "They're something you work up to. I'm proud of the work I've put out there, knowing my training has gotten me where I am."

Jacalyn's set to enroll at The Juilliard School this fall and isn't taking the summer easy: She's attending two different intensives and two convention Nationals (as usual). On her post-college wish list? Dancing on Broadway, joining a company like Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, diving into the L.A. scene, and, eventually, a choreographic career. "I want to improve and get as much information and experience as possible," she says, "so I can take my career path anywhere that I want."

"There's an innate gift in Jacalyn that allows her to make you feel like 'Yeah, she's been through that.' She's a superstar, like Michael Jackson or Robin Williams. She has their same magic ability to connect to the audience." —Anne Forrest, director of Inspire School of Dance

Fast Facts

Birthday: November 17, 1999

Hometown: Naperville, IL

Must-see TV: "One Tree Hill," "The Good Doctor," "Friends"

Choreographers she's dying to work with: Peter Chu, Crystal Pite, Andy Blankenbuehler

Favorite movies: Singin' in the Rain, Chicago, What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Hidden talents: "I can pop my shoulder blade out, and I make really good Donald Duck noises."

Something no one knows about her: "I collect Minnie Mouses! I've been a Disney fan since childhood. Whenever we go to California, we drop in at Disneyland."

Three things she can't live without: "My music, Whole Foods, and matcha"

Latest Posts


All photos by Jayme Thornton. Wardrobe styling throughout by Chloë Chadá Van for The QUIRK Group.

Lizzo's Leading Ladies: Meet the Big Grrrls

Rising pop superstar Lizzo is changing the game in all kinds of ways. (A singer who also raps and plays the flute? You'd better believe it.) But she's become an especially important leader in the body-positivity revolution. And that emphasis on diversity and self-love extends to her fabulous group of backup dancers, known as The Big Grrrls.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Because there's never been a better time to get your TikTok on. (Getty Images/TikTok)

7 of the Best TikTok Dance Challenges to Learn While Stuck at Home

Right now, a lot of us are social-distancing. Which is a good thing for the community. But for dancers, being at home—read: not in the studio—can be especially tough.

Enter TikTok. The app is blowing up right now, with everyone from Hailey Bieber to LeBron James to former Bachelorette (and "Dancing with the Stars" champ) Hannah Brown making accounts to stave off the stir-craziness.

To get you started on your TikTok journey, Dance Spirit rounded up seven of the best dances for you to learn. And when you're ready to share the fruits of your TikTok labors, be sure to tag us @dancespiritmagazine—we'll repost some of our faves!

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

A Letter from the Editor in Chief

Hi, dance friends. It is a strange time to be a person in the world, and an especially strange time to be a dancer. As the dance community faces the coronavirus crisis, a lot of you are coping with closed studios, canceled performances and competitions, and a general sense of anxiety about how your world will look going forward.

Yes, dancers are super resilient, and there's been a lot of inspiring community-building happening. #LivingRoomDances and Instagram dance parties and virtual ballet classes with the pros are wonderful. Dance can, and should, be a bright spot in the darkness. But that weird, empty feeling you have? It might be grief. The loss of the certainty of daily class, the loss of the promise of that big end-of-year performance—that's real. The dance studio has always been a safe place; it's especially hard not to have that outlet now, when you need it most.

We're here for you. We—and our friends at Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, The Dance Edit, and Dance Business Weekly—are doing our best to document the hurdles facing the dance industry, and to advocate for dancers in need. We're developing more online content that will help you maintain and improve your technique while you're at home, and process the mental and emotional fallout of all this upheaval. (You can keep up with the latest stories here.) And we're still making our print magazine. We have issues planned and shot, full of great dance stories and beautiful photos. We're not going anywhere.

We want to hear from you. Talk to us. Or dance to us. Or both. We won't stop moving, and you shouldn't, either.

Margaret

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search