(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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:
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.
The contest is now closed. Look for the winner on our Fall cover!
There's a story Kate Walker, director of dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, loves to tell about Emma Sutherland, who just graduated from the program. "We were watching the students run a really long, challenging piece," Walker recalls. "Several kids couldn't quite make it through. But Emma did make it all the way to the end, which is when she walked up to us faculty and very politely asked, 'May I please go throw up?' "
There are a million and one ways to describe the versatile Darriel Johnakin, but "rare breed" is a good place to start. In fact, it's the first phrase Marie-Louise Gaschler, artistic director of Miami Dance Collective, uses to characterize her longtime student. "Darriel reminds me of how dancers used to train back in the day," Gaschler says. "She never misses a class, gives it her all, inspires the entire room, and somehow manages to stay humble and eager for corrections."
There are some dancers who impress in easy-to-articulate ways: They've got the extension, they've got the feet, they've got the technique. Then there are dancers like Diego Pasillas, whose virtuosity isn't as easy to wrap your head around. Not that Diego doesn't have the extension/feet/technique; that's all there, too. But it's his creature-ness that sets him apart, making his smallest transitions as compelling as his most over-the-top tricks. He's a dancer from a different movement universe—the best kind of alien.
A few of our 12 talented semifinalists (all via Instagram)
Each month in 2018, we chose one 2019 Cover Model Search semifinalist from the pool of very talented entrants. Last week, we selected our December winner—which means we now have all 12 of our 2019 Cover Model Search semifinalists. And what does that mean? It means that one of the gorgeous dancers below will be our Cover Model Search winner, gracing our October 2019 cover!
We're thrilled for our Cover Model Search winner Sydney Burtis—but we also love our two runners-up, Jacalyn Tatro and Shelby Patterson! We talked to Shelby about how life has changed since her NYC visit for the contest.
Shelby Patterson has been super-busy since her Cover Model Search trip to NYC earlier this year. After graduating from high school, she pursued lots of fun summer dance opportunities, including working with Tyce Diorio and attending Stacey Tookey's Camp Protégé. Now the CMS runner-up is on to her next adventure: She recently moved to L.A. to start her commercial career.
"I made the decision to forego a four-year college dance program to pursue professional dance jobs," explains Shelby. "It was a little scary, but thanks to the amazing mentors and guidance I got at Orange County School of the Arts and Westside Dance Project, I was ready to take the leap."
Read on to hear how she's grown since being named a CMS Finalist!
We're thrilled for our Cover Model Search winner Sydney Burtis—but we also love our two runners-up, Jacalyn Tatro and Shelby Patterson! We talked to Jacalyn about how life has changed since her NYC visit for the contest.
You could forgive Cover Model Search runner-up Jacalyn Tatro for resting on her laurels a bit. After all, by May of this year, the 19-year-old was already a three-time New York City Dance Alliance National Outstanding Dancer winner and a member of The Juilliard School's Class of 2022. But this superstar lives in the moment and focuses on the process.
Over the summer, that process included preparing to head off to college in NYC and soaking up every minute of one last Nationals season with her home studio, Inspire School of Dance. "I think it was a great ending to my competition career, if you will," she says. "We had two other seniors at my studio too, so it was a good send-off to college for all three of us."
Now almost a month into classes at Juilliard, Jacalyn's enjoying the intensely dance-focused environment and looking forward to all the learning opportunities that the next four years have in store. Read on to find out what's changed for Jacalyn post-Cover Model Search!
When we first met Sydney Burtis back in April, she already had a resumé most seasoned pros would covet, peppered with competition titles, choreography credits, and even the co-founding of a dance festival. Now, the 18-year-old can add Dance Spirit Cover Model Search winner to that impressive list of accomplishments.
As soon as Sydney laced up her lime-green tap shoes at our photo shoot, we knew we had a star on our hands. She can fuse tap and contemporary dance in a brilliant way thanks to her impressive musicality, but it's her joy that makes her a real standout. You feel it with every click of her candy-colored shoes: Dance isn't just Sydney's passion. It's her life.
These days, the CMS winner is starting the next part of her dance journey as a freshman in Pace University's commercial dance program and honors college. We chatted with the new NYC resident to find out everything that's happened since we last saw her.