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.
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 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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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!