Music City Salsa presents the 5th Annual

Nashville's Top Performers

Nashville's Top Performers 2015 is a local dance contest supported by Nashville's best Latin & Rhythm dance instructors, community leaders and venues.  Special thanks to all the choreographers, instructors, contestants, venues and leaders who make this possible!

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The main purpose of the Nashville's Top Performers dance contest is to promote growth and comradery in the dance community.  



Suggestions to make your experience OPTIMAL!!

Button_hot002_2.gif This is your experience!  Your adventure!  Your opportunity to be part of something Button_new002.gif bigger, something fun, and something you will remember for the rest of your life!

   Overall, Tonya is here for you!  Thank you for giving Tonya this opportunity to share her dance passion!  Thank you for being a pioneer Button_man002.gif in our dance community! 

You are encouraged to dress up, role-play, show-off, act,etc. in your performances.   Button_more.gifThe best technical performance is not always the one that gets the highest score. 

Button003.gifYou are highly encouraged to attend the Thursday session.  Since most folks need time to “sleep on it,” that extra day gives them a leg up. 

Button_new004.gif The next six weeks will challenge you!  You are invited and supported! Bullets014.gif So, push yourself out of your comfort zone! Bullets014_1.gif  You will get tired, both physically and mentally.   But then again, that is when you grow!  You will be a different, better dancer!  So, go for it!  It will be over before you know it!  check001.gif

Contest Rules

 Rules of Engagement

              1.  Attendance— Please, attend all functions of the dance contest.

             a.   Thursday choreography sessions are from 8:15p-9:45p at the Global Education Center at Casa Azafran.

                  Casa Azafran is located at 2195 Nolensville Pike 37211 under the big mosaic.

                               i.      Scheduled practices are as follows:

                         1.       March 12th- Latin Hip Hop & Modern Dance w. Alejandro Rivera

                         2.      March 19th- Cha Cha Shines w. Gwendolyn Clinton

                         3.      March 26th- Hustle w. Patricia Lefler, Dale Hire & Tonya Miller

                         4.   April 2 nd- Casino Rueda Salsa w. Kendra & David Lucas

                         5.      April 9th- Salsa w. Michael Alexander & Natalie Moros

                         6.     April 16th- FINALS Bachata w. Martin & Raven Barrientos

                   ii.      Thursday practice is not mandatory; however, if you cannot be present, please tell Tonya ASAP, so every effort can be made to balance leads & follows.                                                           

                  iii.     If you cannot be at Thursday practice and you want to perform on Wednesday, you must text, email, or call Tonya by 9:15p Thursday evening to be assigned a partner.

                        1.   If you do not respond and still want to participate in that week’s performances, it is up to you to find a partner and you must advise Tonya of your intent to participate by Monday evening, so she can print out the appropriate judges’ sheets.

                               iv.     The official Thursday choreography video is published by Friday evening on Facebook and emailed to you. Videos are published on

b.      Wednesday performances are from 8:35-8:50p at Play Dance Bar- 1519 Church Street

                                  i.      If you miss one Wednesday performance, this may be counted toward the dropping of your lowest score.  More than one missed Wednesday performance is considered grounds for removal from all further participation in the contest.

                                 ii.      If you are not able to attend and perform on Wednesday, you may use a video performance by recording it at Tonya’s house before or on that Wednesday, so the judges can score your video performance along with the other contestants’ performances.

                                iii.      Official Wednesday performance videos are published simultaneously, in an effort to give everyone the same amount of time to promote for points.

c.       Optional Saturday practices are from 1-3p at Tonya’s house- 2802 Ennis Rd. 37210

                                  i.      If it becomes apparent that Tonya’s house will not fully accommodate all folks to practice on Saturday, then efforts will be made to find a larger venue.  In that case, the Saturday times may vary according to the venue’s availability. 

                                 ii.      Saturday practice is for everyone.  Choreographers sometimes attend.  Review of the entire choreography begins promptly at start time. 

d.      Awards Night is from 7-9:30p on Wednesday, April 22nd at Play- 1519 Church St.

                                   i.      All contestants are recognized on Awards Night, even if you danced only once. 

                                  ii.      Choreographers & performances celebrate your efforts.

                                 iii.      The reigning champions pass on their crowns; i.e., if you are named Nashville’s Top Performer 2015 or are the Runner-Up, please plan to attend the 2016 awards ceremony.

             2.       Dues—

a.    Your weekly $15 payment is due at the beginning of each Thursday choreography session.  Payment-in-full may be made at any time.   The total cost is $90.   Until all venue & choreograhper costs are paid, checks are made directly to either Global Education Center or the choreographer, so please ask Tonya before addressing your check. 

b.    Exceptions-- choreographers & passed winners/ runners-up are permitted to attend all functions free of charge, as well as their chosen, invited partners.

                                    i.      If not invited as an alternate, past contestants may attend any choreography session for $5 and be judged for $10.

                                   ii.      Alternates chosen by Tonya or a contestant to assist on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Wednesdays attend free of charge.    

             3.       Partners— 

a.    Your partners are randomly selected and then later assigned each week with the intention to have all contestants dance at least once with each other.  Understand that every effort is made to make the contest fair and enjoyable for everyone. 

                                   i.      Size compatibility is considered for certain dances.

                                  ii.      Tonya reserves the right to assign partners.

b.     Alternates- an alternate may be assigned to you by Tonya, in an effort to provide everyone  with a partner for both Thursday night practice and for Wednesday performances. 

                                     i.      You may choose your own partner from outside the contestants if that person attends the Thursday practice and that same person performs with you the following Wednesday.

                                    ii.      If you perform as an alternate or partner for more than one Wednesday performance, only your highest score will be used.

            4.       Performance & Choreography Alterations—

a.    You may alter two (2) eight-counts of the original choreography, unless otherwise stated at the Thursday session.  Altered eight-counts after the two will be a 5 point deduction to your individual score & a 2.5 point deduction to your couple score.

b.     Lifts, dips & tricks are permitted.

c.    Sergio’s Second Chance— You may restart your performance one time.  Each restart after the second results in 5 individual & 2.5 couple points deducted from your overall weekly score for that dance.

d.    You may extend the beginning and ending of each performance for no longer than 30 seconds in total.  Please, advise Tonya of this type of alteration, so she can manage the music and begin/end per your preference.  These extensions do not count as part of the permitted altering of 2 eight-counts.

          5.       Scoring—

a.      Judges—  You are evaluated weekly by six judges on your technical & artistic demonstration.  The judges sheets are centered around timing & footwork, turns, arms & hands, posture, body control, partner connection, technical difficulty, confidence, musicality & rhythm, facial expressions, and appearance. You are graded average, above average and excellent.  Each category is weighted 2, 3, and 4 respectively.  

                                 ii.      You receive two scores weekly for individual lead/follow and two scores for couple.  Only the highest of the two is counted.

                                 iii.      Every effort is made to select judges who are either teachers, performers, former contestants or otherwise having sound knowledge of dance and the style being performed.  Judges are selected at random.

                                   iv.      Judges’ comments are shared with the contestants each week in an effort to better your dance. 

                                     v.     Judges’ sheets are labeled by identifying numbers contestants (leads) wear each week pinned to their backs.  No names are on the judges' sheets, except in circumstances where everyone dances with an alternate.

                                     vi.      All judges comments are kept anonymous.

                                    vii.      Judges are not bound by anything other than their own opinions.

b.     Scores are calculated using a weighted scale equal to:

                                                               i.      50% - individual

                                                             ii.      40% - couple

                                                            iii.      10% - Face book views, likes and comments

1.      Likes and comments are counted at 10p on Tuesday night.

                                                        2.      Although a comment & a like are counted separately, effort is made to make sure that the act of commenting is counted only once per person commenting.

3.     All shared links count separately and are researched for more likes & comments to be counted. Again, only one like plus one comment and one share are counted per person.

4.  If Facebook permissions do not allow Tonya access to all Shares, then the known shares are subtracted from the total shares and both contestants are given credit for the known and unknown shares.   For example, if Suzie and Donny have 21 shares on the main page.  Say that only 6 shares can been seen by Tonya.  5 are for Donny and 1 for Suzie.  Then, 6 shares are subtracted from the 21 and 15 shares are automatically counted toward each person in addition to their known shares.  That means Donny would receive 20 shares and Suzie 16.  

c.       Scores are published online at

d.      Your lowest score is dropped at the end of the contest.

                6.      Cost—

a.      Costs for the contest include, but are not limited to:

                                                               i.      Venue= Global Education Center- Paid $620 for six weeks, Dance World $180 for 3 weeks

                                                             ii.      Choreographers= $730

                                                            iii.      Supplies for awards night, ink, paper= $700

                                            iv.    Catering for Awards Night= $500

                7.       Winnings—

a.      There is no guaranty as to what the winners receive.

b.     Past winners have received: certificates commemorating their achievements, private   lessons, party & group class passes, workshops, boot-camps, national   salsa/bachata/kizomba congress passes, gift certificates, groupons for dinner & more!   

                8.       Revisions to the rules—

a.       Tonya reserves the right to alter, change, add, delete, etc. at any time.

b.      Tonya commits to inform all parties of any revisions as soon as possible.



2015 All rights reserved by Tonya Miller.