Judges and Officials

Judges

Sami Yli-Piipari
Sami started ballroom dancing at the age of 10 in his native country, Finland. During his career with his wife Karita, he achieved numerous international and national titles including 15 Finnish National Championships titles. He is also a former World & European Professional 10 Dance Grand Finalist, United Kingdom & International Professional Rising Star Finalist, and Blackpool Professional Rising Star Semi-Finalist. Representing Finland, Sami serves as a WDSF chairman and adjudicator.

Marie Crowder
Marie is a five time USA Dance Amateur Champion in Latin and a 3-time USA representative to the WDSF World Latin Championships. Marie has won numerous Regional Standard and Latin Championship titles and was a Standard finalist in the USA DanceSport National Championships. Marie is a WDSF World Class A+ Adjudicator, National Championship Adjudicator and a proud member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (the ISTD). She is currently the Membership Director of the USISTD. Marie, along with her husband Wayne Crowder, organize the Carolina Fall Classic DanceSport Championships. www.carolinafallclassic.com

Wayne Crowder
Wayne Crowder F.I.S.T.D. Wayne is a five time USA Dance Amateur Champion in Latin and a 3-time USA representative to the WDSF World Latin Championships. Wayne has won numerous Regional Standard and Latin Championship titles and was a Standard finalist in the USA DanceSport National Championships. Wayne is a WDSF Adjudicator, Professional Division Adjudicator, National Certified Adjudicator and a Fellow Member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (the ISTD). Wayne served two terms as the President of the United States Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. He currently serves on the Dancesport Council of USA Dance as Chair of Certifications as well as the WDSF Adviser to the President of USA. Wayne has judged WDSF Grand Slams, World Cups, World Championships, Continental Championships as well as Open events. To see a complete list, go to www.worlddancesport.org under the "Officials" tab.

Dana Edwards
Dana is a Licentiate member of the United States Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and has American certifications in Ballroom, Rhythm and Theatre Arts, as well as Licentiate degrees in International Ballroom and Latin. She is a USA Dance adjudicator and collegiate chairman of the judges. Dana is also the Director of Social Media and will be serving on the USISTD National committee. She is retired as an American and Canadian American professional American Smooth and Rhythm Champion. She has 24 years of teaching experience. She worked for Fred Astaire Dance studios for 9 years has also owned her own dance studio called Invitation To Dance in Columbus, Ohio since 2001. Dana was the head coach for the competitive and formation teams for the Ohio State University DanceSport team from 2009 to 2012.

Steve Hadley
Stephen Hadley began his professional dance career with the Arthur Murray organization. As a professional competitor, he is a former Championship finalist in both Standard and Latin and represented the United States at the European Cup. He served as Chairman of the Southeastern Regional Dance Board and was a member of the International Dance Board for Arthur Murray, Inc. Steve holds Fellowships with the North American Dance Teachers Association in Standard, Latin, American Smooth, Rhythm and Theater Arts. He has been a proud member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing for 44 years and is both a National and WDSF adjudicator.

Trevor Luff
Trevor was born in England and moved to the U.S.A. in 1983. He has been teaching for over 25 years and adjudicated USA Dance, NDCA, and collegiate competitions. He has also been Chairman of Judges for USA Dance, and collegiate competitions. Trevor is WDSF Certified and certified with Standard, Latin, Judging System 2.0. Trevor has Triple Licentiate degrees through the I.S.T.D: American Smooth, Rhythm, & Theatre arts as well as Dual Fellowship degrees in I.S.T.D. International Standard & Latin. He has traveled through most of Asia teaching in Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and, recently, Vietnam.

Patricia Panebianco
Patricia Panebianco is an adjudicator and invigilator for many USA Dance competitions. She is the founder and owner of New York DanceSport Center. She has won over 25 professional titles in the International Latin Rising Star and Open categories and she has won first place in the Professional American Rhythm category.

Inez Sahlin
Inez is World Class Championship Judge and International Coach, as well as USA National Judge. Her coaching successes include World and Blackpool Champions in Senior Latin, several National Champions of the countries where she teaches, World Standard and 10 dance Junior II and Youth Finalists and recent World Cup adult Finalists. She judges World Championships and World Cups and many of the WDSF International Championships and competitions all over the World, USA Dance National Championships, University competitions and other Championships and regular competitions in the U.S.A.

Kimberly Smith
Kimberly Smith has been teaching dancing for 34 years and has owned and operated Dr. Dance Studio, Inc. in Birmingham for 28 years. Kim has enjoyed a fulfilling career as a professional competitor, pro/am competitor, teacher and currently coaches amateur and professional couples. She holds both Memberships and Fellowships with the North American Dance Teachers Association, Licentiates with the USISTD and is a WDSF adjudicator. She also serves as the DanceSport advisor for the 2021 World Games. Kim is a member of the National Committee and proudly serves as Treasurer of the United States Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.

Yuehwern Yih, Ph.D
Yuehwern Yih is a Championship Licensed Adjudicator in all four styles by the North American Dancesport Teachers Association (NADTA), Licensed Adjudicator with World Dancesport Federation (WDSF), Certified Scrutineer with the National Dance Council of America (NDCA), and Certified Chair of Judges with USA Dance. In addition to judging and choreographing, she is also the faculty advisor and the head coach of the Purdue Latin & Ballroom Dance Team. In 2010, when the Team was invited to compete on Season 10 of Dancing with the Stars on Fox, she and her partner, Daniel, coached the dancers to a 1st round victory, and placed second in collegiate formation team competition at the finale. Yuehwern is the founder of the Purdue Latin & Ballroom Dance Team and the Team is one of the top ranked teams nationally. Yuehwern and Daniel also organize the Purdue Classic Ballroom Competition, which attracts more than 400 collegiate ballroom competitors each year in the Midwest area in the last two decades.

Additional Judges
We will have several additional judges from outside the United States.

Officials

Diane Samuelson - MC
Diane Samuelson is a former ballet dancer and ISTD certified instructor from Annandale, VA. Her many years of experience with public speaking and stage performance have given her a strong foundation for competition and event emceeing, including for the USA Dance National Dancesport Championships, the Mid-Atlantic regional NQE, and Manhattan Amateur Classic. Diane regularly serves as invigilator for the two yearly competitions at University of Maryland, BAM Jam and DC Dancesport Inferno, and writes a blog about invigilation for amateur dancers.