Cover Model Search

Catching Up with Cover Model Search Finalist Shelby Patterson

Photo by Erin Baiano

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!



What have you been up to since your trip to NYC?

Shelby with her date for prom (courtesy Patterson)

It's been such a whirlwind! I performed in my final commercial dance concert, where I received the Most Well-Rounded Dancer Award, as well as the Director's Award. I debuted my first piece of choreography, which featured a cast of 10 of the most incredible humans. I was named a finalist in the OC Register Artist of the Year program. I performed in my final pre-professional show with Westside Dance Project. I had the honor of being hired by Tyce Diorio and the DanceOn channel to appear in the artist video "Say Love." I attended senior prom with my best friend. And I graduated from OCSA!

Over the summer, I competed at The Dance Awards in Las Vegas, and had the honor of finishing top 10 in the Senior Best Dancer competition. I attended the Backhaus Dance Intensive at Chapman University as their dance ambassador. I was named a member of the DancerPalooza Beat Squad and attended The Travis Wall Experience at DancerPalooza in San Diego. I assisted Tyce Diorio at the inaugural weekend of Brian Friedman's The Main Event in NYC. And I gained a little experience teaching by subbing at my first studio, Orange County Performing Arts Academy.

After a little downtime in August—where I finally got to relax, sleep, and hang out at the beach—I attended Stacey Tookey's Camp Protégé in Calgary, Canada. It was such an inspiring, motivating way to prepare for my professional career.

How did you campaign during the voting period? 

Shelby at the inaugural weekend of Brian Friedman's The Main Event (courtesy Patterson)

I was so grateful for the support and love I received from my friends, family, and the dance community. I posted all over Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and reached out to my dance mentors and supporters. I was humbled by all of the people who took the time to vote.

What was your favorite part of the Cover Model Search experience? 

Photo by Erin Baiano

It was so exciting to meet the Dance Spirit staff, and to get to know Jacalyn and Sydney. The photoshoot was a highlight for me. I really enjoyed working with photographer Erin Baiano, and felt so comfortable and confident portraying my true self in front of the camera. The staff and my fellow finalists were extremely encouraging. It was a dream!

How have you grown since the trip?

Shelby (center) with Travis Wall (left) after attending The Travis Wall Experience at DancerPalooza (courtesy Patterson)

I've gained more confidence in myself and my decision to pursue a professional dance career. The encouragement that I saw throughout the voting process helped me realize how fortunate I am to have these opportunities. Getting to know Jacalyn and Sydney and learning about their journeys inspired me to chase my dream.

What are your goals for the coming year?

Shelby at The Dance Awards (photo by Graci Federico, courtesy Patterson)

To fully immerse myself in this new chapter of my life. That will include continuing to train across many genres, and attending as many auditions as possible. I want to keep up my education and develop a healthy lifestyle to maintain my performance capabilities. And I want to build stronger relationships with my agency, Clear Talent Group, and my mentors.

What's your advice for CMS hopefuls?

Shelby at The Dance Awards where she finished top 10 in the Senior Best Dancer competition (courtesy Patterson)

Being a part of the CMS experience is a huge honor. There's so much to take in and learn. Make the most of every activity. Be confident in yourself and stay true to who you are, because people are always drawn to authenticity. Enjoy all the new relationships and new memories that you'll make.

The Conversation
Cover Story

When Hannahlei Cabanilla rolled up to her Dance Spirit cover shoot—just 36 hours after being named the "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 15 champion—she looked impossibly fresh-faced and well-rested. The Anaheim Hills, CA, native may have had "about eight blisters," as she joked, on her feet; she may barely have slept since the big win; and she may have just performed on "Live with Kelly and Ryan." But she jumped right on set, and quite literally didn't stop jumping for the next five hours. The fabulous technique, irresistible personality, and (especially) boundless energy that earned her the title of America's Favorite Dancer were all on full display.

So what was it actually like for Hannahlei to compete on the show she'd watched since she was a tiny dancer—and what's next for the now–19-year-old? Read on.

Keep reading... Show less

It's time to do your favorite happy dance because it's the most wonderful time of the year! The holidays are almost here, which means we can finally start dancing to Christmas music! With Just For Kix, you can easily dress the part for this holiday season.

Black Friday is starting early! Spend $100 and you will get a $50 gift card. What are you waiting for? Head over to www.justforkix.com and get the shopping started!

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Videos

Choreographing is hard enough on its own, but add a two-hour time limit and two dancers from completely different genres, and the task of creating a dance can seem almost impossible.However, street dancer K-Flow and ballerina Toi'ya prove such a task to be possible, even if it's challenging. In this mesmerizing video, the two find ways to adapt their style of dance to the other's, which results in a completely stunning duet.

Keep reading... Show less

This year, do not miss out on the world's most prestigious dance competition! Every dance competition offers a different experience. At Showstopper, they make it their top priority that your competition experience is unmatched. Here are just a few reasons why Showstopper is uniquely the best…

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Videos

It's one of those iconic only-in-NYC images: Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia making music with their feet in the middle of the legendary toy store FAO Schwarz. The uber-charming "giant piano" scene (choreographed by Pat Birch of Grease and the Martha Graham Dance Company) from the 1988 movie Big has since found its well-deserved place in many a supercut and pop-culture deep dive. But the Big piano has sadly been silent since FAO Schwarz suddenly closed its doors—seemingly for good—on July 15, 2015. Until today, that is!

Keep reading... Show less
Giveaways

It's contest time! You could win your choice of Apolla Shocks (up to 100 pairs) for your whole studio! Apolla Performance believes dancers are Artists AND Athletes—wearing Apolla Shocks helps you be both! Apolla Shocks are footwear for dancers infused with sports science technology while maintaining a dancer's traditions and lines. They provide support, protection, and traction that doesn't exist anywhere else for dancers, helping them dance longer and stronger. Apolla wants to get your ENTIRE studio protected and supported in Apolla Shocks! How? Follow these steps:

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
Photo by Erin Baiano

Most-used emoji: ❤️

Favorite place to shop: Lululemon

Her dance style in five words: "Hard-hitting, lots of tricks"

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer
via Giphy.com

If there's one thing we learned from the musical episode of "Riverdale" last season, it's that more television shows should follow along and have at least one dance-tastic episode. Sure, sometimes these can flop, but most of the time they only make us love the show even more. Here are 8 series that we think need an episode filled with dancey goodness RIGHT NOW.

Keep reading... Show less
Just for Fun

Colder weather is (finally) here, which means it's time for a good dance movie binge. But which iconic films should you put on? To narrow your search, we went ahead and ranked 30 of the greatest dance movies of all time.

Of course, we know a list like this is bound to be controversial—so if you disagree with our lineup, have at it in the comments!

Keep reading... Show less
Cover Story

When Hannahlei Cabanilla rolled up to her Dance Spirit cover shoot—just 36 hours after being named the "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 15 champion—she looked impossibly fresh-faced and well-rested. The Anaheim Hills, CA, native may have had "about eight blisters," as she joked, on her feet; she may barely have slept since the big win; and she may have just performed on "Live with Kelly and Ryan." But she jumped right on set, and quite literally didn't stop jumping for the next five hours. The fabulous technique, irresistible personality, and (especially) boundless energy that earned her the title of America's Favorite Dancer were all on full display.

So what was it actually like for Hannahlei to compete on the show she'd watched since she was a tiny dancer—and what's next for the now–19-year-old? Read on.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Videos
Screenshot via YouTube

One Sergei Polunin is great but two, three, or four Polunins, that's something we can really get behind. And now we don't even have to go to an alternative universe to enjoy multiple Polunin clones. In Hozier's latest music video, "Movement" the legendary ballet dancer's drool-worthy technique is on full display as multiple versions of Polunin break out dancing. And though this isn't the first time the ballet superstar has teamed up with Hozier, this performance is even more haunting than the pair's 2013 collaboration in the "Take Me to Church" video.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Videos
Screenshot via YouTube

One Sergei Polunin is great but two, three, or four Polunins, that's something we can really get behind. And now we don't even have to go to an alternative universe to enjoy multiple Polunin clones. In Hozier's latest music video, "Movement" the legendary ballet dancer's drool-worthy technique is on full display as multiple versions of Polunin break out dancing. And though this isn't the first time the ballet superstar has teamed up with Hozier, this performance is even more haunting than the pair's 2013 collaboration in the "Take Me to Church" video.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Ellie Wagner (center) at Hall of Fame Dance Challenge's 2018 Nationals (photo by Hall of Fame, courtesy Wagner)

Each competition season comes with a range of emotions—emotions that tend to test even our strongest dance friendships. We spoke with comp-world veterans about how to deal with five common friendship-ruining competition scenarios, so you can keep the "forever" in "BFF."

Keep reading... Show less
Dance News
From left: (photo by Michael Curley, courtesy Cincinnati Ballet) (courtesy Cincinnati Zoo)

Yesterday Cincinnati Ballet announced an exciting addition to this year's Nutcracker cast: a character based on Fiona, the world's most famous hippopotamus.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer

For Zara Silverman dancing isn't just a hobby, it's a way of life. And now, Zara's enthusiasm for dance is trickling into her other interests. The 15-year-old's love of fashion spurred the creation of her own clothing line, which is designed specifically with dancers in mind. "Since I'm aspiring to become a professional dancer I wanted to design clothes that I would wear," Zara told Dance Spirit. She even uses other dancers as models for the the line.

Her official company, Zara Silver Clothing, just launched last month, and Zara admits she's still figuring things out. But she's excited to be merging her expertise in the dance world with her love of design. Find out why she attributes the hours she's spent in the studio to her success as a business owner and designer.

Keep reading... Show less
Dancer to Dancer

Traditional stages are nice and all, but in the ever-unpredictable dance world, it's not uncommon for dancers to find themselves performing in pretty unusual places. Here's how six professionals make it work anywhere—from the mast of a ship to a giant beehive.

Keep reading... Show less
Giveaways

We're giving away Jordan Matter's latest book, Born To Dance. It features young dancers just like you, who are passionate about dance. Enter below for your chance to win a copy!

Keep reading... Show less

Sponsored

Video

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Sponsored

Giveaways