Forget Soccer Players: Brazil Makes Darn Great Dancers

OK, yes, they had a disastrous loss to Germany last night, but we still heart Brazil! The host of the 2014 World Cup has had everyone—even non-fervent football fans—buzzing about soccer and its stars for the last few weeks. But while pages upon pages of internet space have been devoted to Brazilian soccer standouts recently, we'd like to take a moment to honor Brazilian ballet dancers.

Yes, Neymar and Hulk (I'm sorry, sidebar—the Brazilian soccer team has a player named "Hulk"?!) are talented and graceful and have amazing abs; they deserve all the attention they've been getting. But Brazil has also proved a breeding ground for truly great ballet stars—danseurs, especially—who are just as talented and even more graceful and also have fabulous abs.

Let's start with Marcelo Gomes, shall we? The American Ballet Theatre principal was born in Rio de Janeiro:

Photo by Mark Squires

Then there's Thiago Soares, who's also from Rio and is now a principal with the Royal Ballet:

Photo by Uspensky

Boston Ballet's Irlan Silva, another Rio native, starred in the documentary Only When I Dance:

Photo by Jean-Bernard Sieber

And the Joffrey Ballet is home to no fewer than three Brazilians: Elivelton das Gracas, Fernando Duarte, and the lovely Amanda Assucena:

(L to R) Elivelton das Gracas, Fernando Duarte, and Amanda Assucena (Agência Espetaculum/Divulgacao, via Chula Vista Ballet, Herbert Migdoll)

There must be something in the water down there. Vá Brasil!

Dance News
(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 by clicking on their names here:

Read Darriel's profile here

Read Diego's profile here

Read Emma's profile here

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.

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Madison Jordan and Jarrod Tyler Paulson brought their real-life romance to the audition stage. (Adam Rose/FOX)

It's usually right around the third or fourth week of "So You Think You Can Dance" audition rounds that we start itching for the live shows. Sure, the auditions are fun, inspiring, and entertaining, but at a certain point, we reach audition saturation. (And the live shows are just so good and feature so much more Cat Deeley.)

All that said, Nigel and co. kept things spicy this week, so our attention remained firmly glued to the screen. (It's been 16 seasons—who are we to doubt Nigel Lythgoe, sir?) Here's how it all went down.

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