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Greatmats 3rd Annual National Dance Instructor of the Year Contest

2017 National Dance Instructor of the Year Finalists Named

Heather and Heidi take top prize. Read their story


The votes are in, and your finalists for the 2017 Greatmats National Dance Instructor of the Year Award are Heidi Sulminski and Heather Gerardi of H&H Dance Academy in Millbury, Massachusetts and Danielle Fritz O'Brien of 3d Dance Studio in Northampton, Pennsylvania. These dance instructors compiled more than 1,700 of the over 4,200 total votes cast in the third year of the contest. The winner will be announced on Dec. 15, 2017.

Heidi Sulminski and Heather Gerardi - H&H Dance Academy - Millbury, Massachusetts

Danielle Fritz O'Brien - 3d Dance Studio - Northampton, Pennsylvania


2017 Nominees
(Click on the name to see his/her nomination.)


Alison Woodward - Crazy About Dance - Anniston


Patricia Hoffman - Colorado Ballet Society - Colorado Springs


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


Tara Foxworth - Oceanway School of Dance and Performing Arts - Jacksonville


Stephanie Pairitz - Epic Dance Studios - Elkhart


Allie Blau - Studio Dee - Fort Wright

Amber Bryant - AB Training Facility - Somerset


Elizabeth Warshauer - Articulate Motions Dance Academy - New Orleans


Kassandra Serafini - Wiley H. Bates Middle School - Annapolis


Heidi Sulminski and Heather Gerardi - H&H Dance Academy - Millbury


Laura Perez - Just For Kix - Spring Valley

North Carolina

Bonita Simpson - Bonita's School of Ballet - Monroe


Mandy Conforth - South Lane Ballet Academy - Cottage Grove


Danielle Fritz O'Brien - 3d Dance Studio - Northampton

Alice Mount - Adrenaline Dance of York - York


Ashlie Wells - Center Stage Dance Company - Winchester


JoJean Retrum - Monona Academy of Dance - Madison

Maeghan Johnson - Neenah-Menasha YMCA - Neenah

Anne Marie Abderholden - Valley Academy for the Arts - Neenah

Alicia Knopps - Diamond School of Dance - Eau Claire

How the winner is chosen:
1. Voting will take place on Greatmats' Facebook Page from Nov. 16 through Nov. 30, 2017. 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:
A. Demonstration of Service
B. Demonstration of Integrity
C. 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 on Dec. 15, 2017.
3. National Dance Instructor of the Year Certificate

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 has earned an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and 9.5 TrustPilot rating. 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

This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.

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

Take a look at Greatmats 2015 National Dance Instructor of the Year - Rosanne Vavasis.

Read about 2016 winner John Culbertson and runner up Terry Fortin!!!

More than 6,900 votes have been cast over the first 3 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 Facebook page during the voting period to vote for this year's National Dance Instructor of the Year. Find the photo gallery ballot associated with the National Dance Instructor of the Year Contest and click like on the photo of the Dance Instructor you'd like to win. Each ''like'' counts as one vote. Only likes to the original post count as votes. Feel free to share a photo or the gallery ballot with friends and family and encourage them to vote, but remind them to like the original post to make sure their votes count. The two dance instructors with the most ''like'' 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.


Want to honor a dance instructor for his/her outstanding achievements, unique style or humanitarian efforts, etc.? Then nominate him/her for the 3rd 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
To nominate the dance instructor for this award, email the following information to before Nov. 1, 2017. 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


2016 Nominees

Shannon Purcell
Rhythm Academy Dance Company, Toccoa, Georgia

Grace Badillo
Dancing with Grace Productions, Tampa, Florida

Jenny Lespi
Dream Makers Dance, Columbiana, Alabama

Terri Fortin
Terri's School of Dance, Abington, Massachusetts

John Culbertson
Dance Attack, Miami, Florida


Learn more about Greatmats National Award Series.

For more on this topic please review our Dance Floors All Types product page.