Jo Thompson


Jo Thompson Szymanski

Considered the “Queen of Line Dance”, Jo Thompson Szymanski has made quite an impact on dance floors worldwide. This year, she celebrates 37 years of teaching line and couples dancing! The whole Thompson family started teaching country couples and line dancing in 1980. Jo's big break to worldwide fame came in the mid 1990’s through hosting her own show Danceline on The Nashville Network.  Many of you might remember Jo’s big Texas hair, tight leggings and cowboy boots!  She guest hosted TNN’s Club Dance and the Wildhorse Saloon TV shows as well as dance contests all over the world for Country Music Television (CMT). Jo was Miss Texas 1987, placed top ten at Miss America and holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Dance.  

 Jo was voted 5-time International Line Dance Instructor of the Year and was one of the first two people (with Max Perry) to be inducted into the Line Dance Hall of Fame at the 1999 UK Crystal Boot Line Dance Awards.  She has won many United Country Western Dance Council (UCWDC) Star Awards, Dancer’s Choice Awards and in 2012 was inducted into the UCWDC Hall of Fame.

  In addition to line and couples dancing, Jo’s teaching and dancing experience includes Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Swing, Salsa, Ballroom, Square Dancing, Round Dancing, Clogging, and Latin.  Line dances that she choreographed/co-choreographed such as Come Dance With Me, Midnight Waltz, Just For Grins, Dizzy, Jukebox, Splish Splash, Enchantment, Por Ti Sere, Rose Garden, Cut-A-Rug, Rita’s Waltz, Jo ‘n Jo Tango, Hideaway Cha, MJ Moves, TGIF, Tango Cha, Dog-gone Blues, Shoes of Another Man, Through the Fire, Showstopper, Kreedom, This Little Light, Wrong Side Slide, Wakey Wakey, Yes!, Cliché Love Song, Ain’t Misbehavin’…and the list goes on and on…are favorites with dancers everywhere. Jo, along with singer/songwriter Scooter Lee, co-founded Dancing for the Dream Senior Line Dance Charity to help promote the many health benefits of line dancing as we age. 

  •  Jo’s life was practically picture perfect!  However, in November of 2004, while pregnant, Jo was diagnosed with a very rare, life threatening bone marrow disease, Aplastic Anemia. Also affected were her joints leaving her unable to walk, much less dance!  2 total hip replacements, 6 shoulder surgeries, one knee surgery and a successful bone marrow/stem cell transplant later, Jo is back to dancing, teaching and feels great!  She thanks to the dance community for the tremendous support throughout her journey.  Jo along with her husband Tim and their 12-year-old daughter Anna live in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

Machelle Holloway

Machelle Holloway has been involved in teaching, Deejaying, and promoting Dance and Festivals for over 30 years! She is currrently teaching Social Dance Lessons at Casper College and the Senior Citizens Center.  It takes music to dance, and no one does music better than DJ Machelle Holloway!
In addition, Machelle is a popular
Line Dance, Ballroom, and Country Swing Dance Instructor serving communities throughout Wyoming and Montana. We are excited to have Machelle joining us again at this years' Festival!  She continues to work with Dance Festivals in Ft. Collins, Colorado Springs, Ft. Wayne, & Billings, Montana. The family business is a Check Cashing Center of which she is a major part of.

 Jerry and Kathy helped start Dakota Country Dance Club and have been active in the club ever since.

Jerry & Kathy Nusz

Jerry and Kathy helped start Dakota Country Dance Club and have been active in the club ever since. They've competed, taught workshops, and judged contests all across the United States. Jerry shares a quote from a friend in Utah. "If you don't dance, you're wasting your feet. ..."  You'll definitely want to sign up for a class or two with this fun couple! 

Carrie Lucas


Carrie Lucas offers over 25 years of experience as a Judge and Competitor in the West Coast Swing Circuit and is known for her "Dance like a Lady" Styling and Sassy Syncopated footwork.

Carrie has achieved national acclaim, and is an active competitor, winning numerous 1st Place Masters awards, including at the US Open Swing. She is also a “California Swing Dance Hall of Fame" Recipient.