From the moment we saw Darriel Johnakin flash a million-watt smile while nailing a textbook tilt at her Cover Model Search photo shoot this spring, we knew she'd go far in the dance world. Now, having crossed "Dance Spirit Cover Model Search winner" off her bucket list, Darriel's back to doing what she does best: logging long hours in the studio, polishing her technique, applying her teachers' corrections, and trying to be a little bit better than she was yesterday.
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:
And then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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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."
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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.