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Greatmats 5th Annual National Dance Instructor of the Year Contest

National Dance Instructor of the Year Award

Nearly 74,000 votes flooded the 2019 Greatmats National Dance Instructor of the Year Ballot and two shining stars emerged as finalists for the annual award. Kimberly Bartoszewski, of Stardom Dance Academy, and Marianne Brash-Reig, of Twirl Time Studio, amassed more than 51,000 combined votes to earn a shot at the title and some new dance flooring from Greatmats.

Congratulations to Marianne Brash-Rieg for bing named the 2019 Greatmats National Dance Instructor of the Year!

Want to honor a dance instructor for his/her outstanding achievements, unique style or humanitarian efforts, etc.? Then nominate him/her for the Annual National Dance Instructor of the Year Award, sponsored by Greatmats. The award, part of Greatmats National Award Series, is designed to recognize dance instructors who have made a difference in the lives of their clients and community through the virtues of service, integrity and quality.

Learn more about Greatmats National Award Series.

How to Nominate:

(The nomination period has ended.)

To nominate the dance instructor for this award email the following information to before Nov. 1, 2019 or visit our contest page and fill out the online submission form. Nominators will not be identified.

  1. Dance Instructor's Name
  2. Name and Location of the Dance Studio (Must be located in the USA)
  3. A brief description of why you are nominating this instructor, including how he/she meets the criteria of high-level service, integrity and quality
  4. A photo and/or video of the Instructor

How the winner is chosen:

  1. Voting will take place for the 5th Annual Greatmats National Dance Instructor of the Year Award Nov. 14-Dec. 1 2019. The two dance instructors with the most votes will be named finalists.
  2. Greatmats will judge the two finalists to determine the winner based on:
    1. Demonstration of Service
    2. Demonstration of Integrity
    3. Demonstration of Quality

Grand Prize

  1. $250 in Greatmats Products (or $150 Cash Option) for the studio
  2. Instructor/studio profile to be released with the announcement of the winner in December.
  3. National Dance Instructor of the Year Certificate
More than 97,000 votes have been cast over the first 5 years of the contest, which is part of Greatmats Annual National Award Series. The Greatmats Award Series is designed to recognize instructors, trainers and coaches, who have had a positive impact in their communities and the lives of their students.

Voting Instructions:

Visit Greatmats during the voting period to vote for this year's National Dance Instructor of the Year. Click the vote button next to the photo of the Dance Instructor you'd like to win. Feel free to share the ballot with friends and family and encourage them to vote. The two dance instructors with the most votes will be named finalists. From that point, Greatmats will choose the winner (scroll down to see prizes) based on demonstration of service, integrity and quality.

Greatmats is a national dance flooring leader based in Milltown, Wisconsin, since 1999. Identified as one of the top 3,000 fastest growing companies in the USA three times since 2008, Greatmats gives back to its local community by donating 5% of its annual profits to local non-profit organizations. It also supports green initiatives through the use of solar energy at its Wisconsin headquarters and by offering a large variety of products made from recycled and renewable resources.

View all of Greatmats' dance flooring at

All media submissions, including text, photos and videos become property of Greatmats

Read about previous winners of the award:

2015 National Dance Instructor of the Year - Rosanne Vavasis
2016 National Dance Instructor of the Year - John Culbertson
2017 National Dance Instructors of the Year - Heidi Sulminski & Heather Gerardi


Past Greatmats National Dance Instructor of the Year Nominees


Crystal Sizemore - Center Stage Dance Studio - Enterprise (2018)
Alison Woodward - Crazy About Dance - Anniston (2017)
Jenny Lespi - Dream Makers Dance - Columbiana (2016)


Danielle Cicogna - Diamond Dance Works - Anthem (2018)


Patricia Hoffman - Colorado Ballet Society - Colorado Springs (2017)


Deb Shligersky - Dance Amore - Enfield (2018)


Amanda Pollard - Delaware State University/Danceworks Dance Studio of Delaware - Dover/Newscastle (2017)


Marlee Ramirez-Santana - Encore Dance Theatre - Sunrise (2018)
Tara Foxworth - Oceanway School of Dance and Performing Arts - Jacksonville (2017)
Grace Badillo - Dancing with Grace Productions - Tampa (2016)
John Culbertson - Dance Attack, Miami (2016)
Rosanne Vavasis - Gotta Dance - Hudson (2015)
Heather Walts - Just Dance Academy - Tarpon Springs (2015)


Heather Hardin Englemen - Stars of Grace - Chatsworth (2018)
Shannon Purcell - Rhythm Academy Dance Company - Toccoa (2016)


Gina Underwood - The Dance Factory - Pocatello & Idaho Falls (2018)


Kimmie Knott - Project Dance Company - Macomb (2018)
Brandy Berkely - Brandy's Mystical Inspiration - Peoria (2015)


Yvette Walts - THR!VE - Evansville (2018)
Jim Kochert - Talent Factory Arts and Dance - Lebanon (2018)
Lori South - Creative Dance N' - South Bend (2018)
Stephanie Pairitz - Epic Dance Studios - Elkhart (2017)


Heather Fortier - LA Petite School of Dance - Louisville (2018)
Allie Blau - Studio Dee - Fort Wright (2017)
Amber Bryant - AB Training Facility - Somerset (2017)


Ketti Voisin - Inspired 2 Dance Performing Arts Center - Houma (2018)
Elizabeth Warshauer - Articulate Motions Dance Academy - New Orleans (2017)


Kassandra Serafini - Wiley H. Bates Middle School - Annapolis (2017)


Holli Faria - Studio Life Performing Arts - Fall River (2018)
Lori Beccia-Gorgone - Dance On Dance Center - Hudson (2018)
Ariel Lask - Limelight Dance Center - Ware (2018)
Maria Zullo - Miss Maria's School of Dance - Watertown (2018)
Heidi Sulminski and Heather Gerardi - H&H Dance Academy - Millbury (2017)
Terri Fortin - Terri's School of Dance - Abington (2016)


Michelle Marzejon - Michelle's Academy of Dance and Performing Arts - Hartland (2018)


Laura Perez - Just For Kix - Spring Valley (2017)


Tiffany Pleus - Elite Performing Arts - Jefferson City (2018)
Jennifer Story - Gateway Dance Conservatory - St. Louis (2018)
Christi Leonard - Dance Academy - Carl Junction (2015)
Heather McNew - Evolution Arts and Athletics - Rogersville (2015)


Gina Davis - Western Nevada Performing Arts Center - Carson City (2018)

New Jersey

Nancy Dixon - Dixon's Dance Academy - Vineland (2018)
Elaine Russell - Russells Dance and Baton Studio - Wildwood (2018)

New York

Maria Ruffato - The 716 Dance Lab - Lancaster (2018)

North Carolina

Alyssa Hudgins - Riverwalk Youth Ballet - Jacksonville (2018)
Bonita Simpson - Bonita's School of Ballet - Monroe (2018, 2017)
Miranda Evans - Elite Dance Studio of the Performing Arts - Rocky Mount (2015)


Julie Marks - Dance Etc. - Milford, Ohio (2018)


Christi Leaonard - Dance Academy - Miami (2015)


Mikayln Haney - The Lotus Studio - Salem (2018)
Mandy Conforth - South Lane Ballet Academy - Cottage Grove (2017)


Danielle Lykens - Star Performance Dance Academy - Duncansville (2018)
Leandra Maley - Crimson Academy for the Performing Arts - Saint Clair (2018)
Lea Wolfe - Pocono Academy of Dance - Sciota (2018)
Danielle Fritz O'Brien - 3d Dance Studio - Northampton (2017)
Alice Mount - Adrenaline Dance of York - York (2017)
Danielle Hughes - Scranton Dance Center, Wilkes University Conservatory, Marywood University - Scranton (2015)
Karl Barbee - NA - Moscow (2015)

South Carolina

Julie Martin - Julie's Fancy Feet Dance Academy - York (2018)


Ashlie Wells - Center Stage Dance Company - Winchester (2017)


Diana McCormack - The Wilson County School of Ballet - Floresville (2018)
Jennifer Lumpkins - Turning Pointe Dance Center - Meridian (2018)
Kristen Nicolaisen - Balance Dance Studios - Austin, TX (2015)


Nick Bloxsom-Carter - NBC Dance - Provo (2018)


Christine (Tina) Singer - Amyclae Dance - Stafford (2015)

West Virginia

Corinthia Rilko - Lil Jammaz Hip Hop Company - Morgantown (2018)


JoJean Retrum - Monona Academy of Dance - Madison (2017)
Maeghan Johnson - Neenah-Menasha YMCA - Neenah (2017)
Anne Marie Abderholden - Valley Academy for the Arts - Neenah (2017)
Alicia Knopps - Diamond School of Dance - Eau Claire (2017)


For more on this topic please review our Dance Flooring product page.