Music City Salsa presents the 6th Annual

Nashville's Top Performers

Nashville's Top Performers 2016 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!

Contest Rules  Scores & Videos  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015  2016


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



Suggestions to make your experience OPTIMAL!!

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

  Button_man001.gifOverall, 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.gifin 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.gifThe next six weeks will challenge you!  You are invited and supported! Bullets014.gifSo, 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!  

Contest Rules

 Rules of Engagement

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

                   a.   Thursday choreography sessions are from 8:30p-10:00p 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 10th- Zumba w. Mimi Mariposa & Justin Henderson

                                                  2.      March 17th- Cha Cha w. Kendra & David Lucas

                                                  3.      March 24th- BachaTango w. Shelby Hughes

                                                  4.   March 31st- West Coast Swing w. Steven Black

                                                  5.      April 7th- Salsa w. Francisco Nacion

                                                  6.     April 14th- FINALS Bachata w. Michael Alexander

                                     ii.      Thursday practice is not mandatory; however, if you cannot be present, please tell Tonya ASAP, so every effort can be made tobalance 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 andyou must advise Tonya of your intent to                         participate by Monday evening, so shecan 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 27nd 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 2016 or are the Runner-Up, please plan to attend the 2017 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/ 1st 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 $720 for six weeks

                                                             ii.      Choreographers= $720

                                                            iii.      Supplies for awards night, ink, paper, frames, decorations, etc.= $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.

2016 All rights reserved by Tonya Miller.