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 35 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.
She has taught throughout the world and 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, 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! and the list goes on and on and 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, 5 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 10 year old daughter Anna live in Denver, Colorado.
I am thrilled and honored to be a part of Dance For The Cure 2016! I have heard so many great things about this event. Thank you Jill and Julie for the opportunity to finally experience it in person! I look forward to seeing many friends and making lots of new ones at this wonderful event. Warm hugs to you all!
Bio coming shortly