Our Favorite Outtakes from Dance Spirit's 2016 Cover Shoots

It's that end-of-December time when everybody likes to reflect on the past year, and we at Dance Spirit are no exception. 2016 has been a weird one for the world generally, but a pretty great one for DS specifically: Over the last 12 months, we've had the privilege to put no fewer than 18 world-class dancers on our cover. And one of the best things about featuring fabulous dancers is that we tend to get whole messes of fabulous photos at our cover shoots—more than we could ever fit in the magazine.


Each issue, a bunch of photos that don't make it into print end up as digital edition exclusives, available only to our digital subscribers. But as a little New Year's present to y'all, we thought we'd share our favorite outtake from each issue. (And if you'd like to see more gorgeous shots like these, you know what to do.)

Enjoy!

January 2016: Gabe De Guzman and Kaycee Rice

Photo by Joe Toreno

February 2016: Ross Katen, Madelyn Ho and Anne O'Donnell

Photo by Jayme Thornton

March 2016: Gisele Bethea

Photo by Nathan Sayers

April 2016: Austin Joson and Nino Dzneladze

Photo by Jayme Thornton

May/June 2016: Taylor Hatala and Larsen Thompson

Photo by Jayme Thornton

July/August 2016: Ariana DeBose and Sasha Hutchings

Photo by Erin Baiano

September 2016: Miriam Miller

Photo by Lucas Chilczuk

October 2016: Briar Nolet

Photo by Erin Baiano

November 2016: Emma Portner

Photo by Jayme Thornton

December 2016: Kida Burns and Fik-Shun Stegall

Photo by Joe Toreno

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(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

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 on their profile pages, and then 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.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.

Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."

Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?

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Photo by Erin Baiano

Click here to vote for Emma.

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?' "

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