Judges & Officials - 2018 Royal Palm DanceSport Competition

The USA Dance, Royal Palm Chapter and the Competition Organizer are proud to announce that
the following distinguished panel of World-Class Adjudicators & Officials
will preside at our 2018 Royal DanceSport Competition

January 20, 2018


(Adjudicators Listed in reverse alphabetical order, after Chairman of Judges)

Lee Fox                        Adjudicator & Chairman of Judges – From Georgia and Florida
Lee Fox, Adjudicator and Chairman of Judging Panel

Lee Fox has acted as an Adjudicator and Chairman of Judges at many regional competitions and showcases, as well as at the United States National Dancesport Championships for many years.

Lee is President and an Examiner of the National Dance Teachers Association of America (NDTA). In that position, he trains dance teachers for examinations, and administers examinations, for professional certifications. He is Certified as a Fellow (the highest level) in International Standard, International Latin, American Smooth, and American Rhythm by NDTA, and Certified in the licentiate level of International Standard, International Latin, American Rhythm and Theater Arts with the Imperial Society of the Teachers of Dance.

Lee has had over 35 years of teaching experience, teaching and coaching individual students, as well as formation teams, at all levels from beginners to intermediate to advanced level choreography and competition coaching. He is known for his vast and exacting knowledge of all official syllabi of both USA Dance, ISTD, and NDCA in all styles of dance, including International Standard, International Latin, American Smooth, and American Rhythm dances, in addition to other Social Dances, such as West Coast Swing, Hustle, Country/ Western and others.

Lee has competed professionally in various events nationally and internationally over several years. He is now a frequent guest instructor at national and regional dance events, conventions and cruises. He has been invited to instruct and judge in San Francisco, Montreal, Atlanta, Copenhagen, New York, and Los Angeles, among many other cities.

A true Southern gentleman, Lee hails originally from Macon, Georgia. When in college he caught the dance bug while performing in musical theater. He started his dance career in Atlanta, training at Fred Astaire Dance Studios during the disco era of Saturday Night Fever. After furthering his training in New York he opted for the vibrant dance scene of South Florida.

Lee is actively involved in teaching group classes to the communities of South Florida reaching from Miami through Fort Lauderdale and into Boca Raton. His classes and lessons take place at several different studios and venues.

Yuehwern Yih             Adjudicator – From Indiana
Yuehwern Yih

Dr. Yuehwern Yih, Certified Adjudicator: USA Dance+WDSF – Chair+ A+ B+ C+ D+, is a professional ballroom dancer, coach, choreographer, and adjudicator. She is a Certified Adjudicator by World Dancesport Federation (WDSF) in International Latin and Standard. She is a Championship Certified Adjudicator with North American Dancesport Teachers Association (NADTA) and USA Dance in both International Styles and American Styles. Yuehwern is also a Certified Scrutineer with National Dance Council of America (NDCA), and a Certified Chair of Judges with USA Dance.

In addition to judging and choreographing, Yuehwern and her partner, Daniel, spend most of their time being the head coaches 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, they coached the dancers to a 1st round victory, and placed second in collegiate formation team competition at the finale.

Yuehwern was a finalist in many professional events and runner-up in USA Dancesport Championships in a span of 15 years. Throughout her dancing career, she is always fascinated by the dynamics, intricate synergy and kinetics between partners in competitive ballroom dancing. She is passionate about learning; teaching, and helping students find their pathways to success on and off the dance floor.

She founded a college competition team at Purdue over 20 years ago and this team is not only ranked highly nationally, but also the incubator of many Dancesport competitors, professionals, and lifelong dancers. Each year Yuehwern is also the key person to organize the Purdue Ballroom Classic, which attracts more than 400 collegiate competitors from 20+ universities in the Midwest area in the last two decades.

Yuehwern studied ballet and performed with the Lafayette Ballet Company before learning ballroom dance.

In addition, she completed her B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial Engineering, specializing in operation management and system engineering. She is currently a Full Professor in Industrial Engineering at Purdue University and the Associate Director of Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering.

Kathryn Schaffer     Adjudicator – From England and Florida
Kathryn Marie Schaffer, Adjudicator

Kathryn Schaffer is a former North American Champion and a former United States Champion in International Standard, dancing with Victor Veyrasset.

As well as winning the Ohio Star Ball and countless other Championships with several partners, Kathryn was a finalist in many open to the world competitions.

She has been the United States representative in several World Championships including those held in England, Denmark and Japan. Kathryn was honored to be a member of the highly prestigious Blackpool International Team Match. She is also the recipient of the very prestigious Feather Award.

She is a Certified World Class Adjudicator holding Highly Commended Fellow in International Standard, International Latin, American Smooth and American Rhythm with the N.A.D.T.A.

Since retiring from competition, Miss Schaffer has maintained an extremely active schedule as an adjudicator, lecturer and coach throughout the United States.

Christopher Skates   Adjudicator – From England and Florida
Christopher Skates, Adjudicator

Originally from England, Christopher Skates is a former UK Champion. He was the first person ever to win Blackpool in Standard and Latin in the same year.

Chris began dancing at the age of 6 in London, England, which ultimately resulted in several prestigious national championships. He became the United Kingdom and European Ballroom and Latin Junior Champion at the age of 15. Also at age 15, Chris became the South of England and North of England Champion.

Chris is the winner of many National and International Ballroom and Latin Championships and was a grand finalist in both Ballroom and Latin at the British Open (Blackpool).

Turning professional at age 17, Chris began teaching and judging nationwide. He operated his own studio in London for fifteen years.

In 1993, Chris moved to the USA, where he now lives in Florida.

Chris continues to travel, coach and judge nationwide.

Chris is fully qualified as an Adjudicator in all five styles of dance: A+, B+, C+, D+ and E+.


Inez Sahlin                Adjudicator – From Czech Republic and Florida
Inez Sahlin

Inez Sahlin is a World Class Championship Judge and International Coach. Originally from the Czech Republic, she now resides in Bonita Springs, Florida. She is a:

– USA Dance, National Judge.

– Member and licensee: WDC, NDCA, ISTD, WDSF, DTCB, USADance.

– World Championships Finalist. US Open Professional Semifinalist.

– Former Amateur Champion and Runner-Up in Standard, 10 Dance, Team and Formation in Czech Republic and

– Champion, Winner or Finalist of over 300 competitions all over Europe.

– Professional Champion or Finalist in Ohio Star Ball, Constitution State Challenge, New England Imperial Championships, New England Championships and American Star Ball among others.

Currently Inez is teaching independently in the United States and travels regularly to coach in Europe.

​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.

Inez is qualified and licensed as an international Adjudicator by the WDSF, in both Latin and Standard Disciplines and in both Professional and Amateur Divisions. In addition, she is qualified as an Adjudicator under the new, rigorous WDSF Olympics-style Judging System 2.0.

She judges numerous World Championships, World Cups, and WDSF International Championships and competitions all over the World, in addition to USADance National Championships, University competitions, and other Championships and competitions in the U.S.A.


Karen Pritchard       Emcee – From England and Florida
Karen Pritchard - Emcee

Born in England, Karen Pritchard competed in Ballroom & Latin Championships through the ranks of British Amateur Ballroom and Latin Dancer to British Professional Ballroom and Cabaret Champion status. After winning The British Royal 10 Dance Championship, International 10 Dance Championship in Europe, and numerous competitions in England she performed in Cabaret and taught on Holland America Line Cruises for 13 years, including 7 World Cruises.

Presently, she is Coaching, Judging, Teaching and is Producer/Director of KP Productions, a non-profit Musical Theatre Company. Karen MC’s for several of the Competitions here in South Florida, and is known for her delightful spontaneous humor, and her superb timing and knowledge of dancing and competing, which are so instrumental in making the Competitions run smoothly and be so enjoyable to the competitors and audience alike. Her philosophy is, “Dancing should be fun for the performers and for the audience, making the day memorable for all”.

Her Credits Include:

  • Former British 10 Dance Champion.
  • 5 Times Blackpool Ballroom & Cabaret Finalist.
  • Qualified Member of I.S.T.D. and British Dance Federation.
  • Director, Producer & Choreographer of Musical Theatre Company.
  • Teacher of the Arts, Theatre Acting, Singing and Dance for Musical Productions.
  • Promoter, Organizer and MC.

Daniel Dilley               Scrutineer – From Indiana
Daniel Dilley - Scrutineer

Daniel Dilley, Certified by USA Dance and WDSF as a Scrutineer A+ B+ C+ D+, is also a National Judge, registered as an Adjudicator with USA Dance, and Certified by the North American Dancesport Teachers Association (NADTA) and World Dancesport Federation (WDSF). He is Certified as a Scrutineer (by NDCA) with extensive experience, and enough equipment to run O2CM wireless judging for 30+ judges.

As a competitor, Daniel was Cincinnati Ballroom Classic Rising Star Champion, Volunteer State Rising Star Champion, and a Finalist in many US competitions.

Daniel is head coach of the Purdue Latin & Ballroom Dance Team, which has about 125 members each semester, requiring competitive coaching in all levels from Newcomer to Championship.

Daniel also co-organizes the annual Purdue Ballroom Classic Competition, which attracts more than 400 collegiate ballroom dance competitors each year in the Midwest.

Vinny Munno              Music Director – From New Jersey and Florida
Vinny Munno, Music Director

Vincent (Vinny) Munno is Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Goldcoast Ballroom, along with Jeff Sandler. Vinny is known not only throughout Florida but nationally and around the world for his electrifying music as a DJ. It has been said that he sets the standard for disk jockeys not only in South Florida but world wide.

As an example of the international recognition and acclaim that Vinny Munno and Co-Founder Jeff Sandler have received, they were invited to preside over the first ever Annual Euro Salsa Congress in Munich, Germany. Vinny acted as DJ and Jeff acted as Host and Master of Ceremonies at that spectacular international event. Vinny is pictured above in his role as DJ at the First Annual Euro Salsa Congress in Munich, Germany.

As the man behind the music both at Goldcoast Ballroom and the Music Director and DJ for our Annual Royal Palm DanceSport Competition, he is a most important and integral member of the team.

Vinny also is a very accomplished dancer. At the age of eight, he began his dancing career by training in ballet, jazz, and tap. During his school years, he also was exceptionally skilled in gymnastics. He continued to study ballet for eight years at the New Jersey Dance Theater Guild. He graduated from the Dance Educators of America Teacher’s Training School in New York City. For six years he appeared in the New Jersey Dance Theater Guild’s production of “The Nutcracker”.

Vinny later studied Ballroom dance seriously, and became an accomplished Ballroom dancer and competitor. Dancing with US Champion Professional Susie Thompson, he won titles including US American Rhythm Pro-Am Gentleman Champion in 1999 and 2000, and US American Smooth Pro-Am Gentleman Champion and Ohio Star American Rhythm Finalist in 2001.

Recently he is dancing with Pro Olga Bogdanov, and they have given some amazing, extraordinary performances in American Smooth dances at Goldcoast Ballroom Showcases.

Vinny hails originally from New Jersey. Before moving to Florida and dedicating himself full time to dance, he had a career in banking, which included starting as a loan processor and serving eight years as bank branch manager.

John Rannella            Organizer & President-Elect, USA Dance, Royal Palm Chapter – From New York and Florida
John Rannella

John Rannella, 2018 President-Elect and Director-Elect of USA Dance Royal Palm Chapter # 6016, is the Organizer of the 2018 Royal Palm Dancesport Competition.

John is a long-time Member of the Royal Palm Chapter of USA Dance, and has previously served on its Board of Directors and as Vice President of the Chapter.

John has been active in the ballroom dance community for many years. He was recently elected as President and a Director of USA Dance, Royal Palm Chapter # 6016, along with a slate of nine new Directors whom he recruited to the Board.

Jeff Sandler               Vinny Munno            Co-Founders & Co-Owners of Goldcoast Ballroom –
Our Competition Venue

Jeff Sandler Vinny Munno

Our grateful recognition and special appreciation go to Jeff Sandler and Vinny Munno, Co-Founders and Co-Owners of Goldcoast Ballroom, for hosting and generously co-sponsoring the Annual Royal Palm DanceSport Competition at the Beautiful and Nationally Renowned Goldcoast Ballroom each year for the past 12 years! Read more about Jeff and Vinny on the Goldcoast Ballroom website ».


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The Annual USA Dance Royal Palm DanceSport Competition - now in it's 15th year -
is one of the most highly regarded dancesport competitions in Florida and in the United States.
We welcome amateur competitor couples from around the United States, Canada, and the world!
Starting in 2018, we will also include Teacher/ Student and Pro/Am Events!

Competition Sponsors & Principal Donors: