Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame is the most prestigious award presented by the Council of the United Country Western Dance Council. Each year, Council members are asked to nominate an individual, couple, group or team who exemplifies a truly dynamic spirit, a person of admiration, and one who is worthy of this exemplary honor.

This award is bestowed upon someone who has contributed in ways that have changed or advanced the path of country dance, as we know it today. Someone who has achieved success yet is willing to share their gift of knowledge and talent with others. The UCWDC Hall of Fame recipient is carefully selected from a field of rare visionaries who have impacted the world of country dance by broadening horizons and breaking new ground.

Click on each image to read a brief biography.


Dave Getty – 1995

Mike Haley – 1996

Barry Durand – 1997

Jeff Bartholomew – 1998

Bill Robinson – 1999

Linda DeFord – 2000

Steve Zener – 2001

Kelly Gellette – 2002

Sue Boyd – 2003

Dorsey Napier – 2004

Dennis & Carol Waite – 2005

Sherry Tovell – 2006

Robert Royston – 2007

Tony Lee – 2008

Scott & Cheryl Lindberg – 2009

Jack & Debbie Paulhus – 2010

Larry & Laurie Sepulvado – 2011

Jo Thompson – 2012

Brigitte Zerah – 2013

Bob Bahrs – 2014

Jack & Sue Wagner – 2015

Tom Mattox – 2015

Dawn Garrish – 2016

Laureen Baldovi-Mason – 2016

Linda Hembre – 2016

Patti Miller – 2016

Sarah Bahrs – 2016

Brian Barakauskas – 2017

Buzzy & Kellie Hennigan – 2017

Steve Stevens – 2017

Grant Austin – 2018

John Robinson – 2018

Rhonda Shotts – 2018

Mona Broussard – 2019

Pedro Machado – 2019

Randy Shotts – 2019

Beth Emerson – 2020

Tony Gutsch & Yvonne (Gutsch) Benavidez-Wayne – 2020

Carmen Scarborough Goodman – 2022

Tracy & Pam Butler – 2022

Rachael McEnaney-White – 2022

Toby Munroe – 2023

Ronnie DeBenedetta & Brandi Guild – 2023


In 2016, the UCWDC considered reconizing individuals that helped build and establish the popularity of Country dancing as both a social activity and competitive sport dating back to the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Because of the limited number of inductions into the UCWDC Hall of Fame each year, the council realized there were many others who deserved recognition for their roles in our early development as an organization, community, and a credible dancesport. Countless individuals spent multiple nights of the week, every week of the year, dancing, teaching, competing, promoting, traveling, and networking with local and regional communities that many years later resulted in the formation of a world-wide organization called the UCWDC. It was their vision, creativity, sacrifice, and motivation to unite Country dancers from near and far that forged a path into the future and built the foundation of a sport we have all come to enjoy so many years later.

There was much debate about how to describe these talented and dedicated people. In those early years before and during the formative years of the United Country Western Dance Council, these individuals were true Pioneers in their regions and their impact on Country dance can still be traced back three decades later. We are so appreciative and grateful to these select few who were chosen for this honor by the UCWDC Directors within each region of the country.

It is the intention that this project take several years to complete by focusing on a single region each year where there was a clear presence of Country dancers that supported the UCWDC. Regions will be recognized in the following order: Southwestern U.S. in 2018; Southeastern U.S. in 2019; Northeastern and Midwest U.S. in 2020; Due to Covid, nothing in 2021 or 2022. Rocky Mountain Region and Pacific Northwest and Western Canada in 2023; Southern States in 2024; and Europe in 2025. Other zones or regions may be added at a later date.

The first class honored as UCWDC Pioneers was announced in January, 2018 at Worlds 26 in San Francisco, CA. Award recipients lived and danced in the Southwestern Region of the United States and included: Michele Adams, Phil Adams, Don & Lia Boatman, Tracy & Pam Butler, Gloria Casey, Melody Cochran, David Conner & Veronica Trout-Caron, John Daugherty, Wayne & Debbie Edgin, Steve Freeman, Marcia Gray, Tony Gutsch & Yvonne Gutsch-Wayne, Michael Hunt, Tom Hyatt, Linda Infante, Rob Ingenthron, Richard Kear, Mark & Tiffiney Maxwell, Moe Padden-Singleton, Lou & Lura Posada.

In January, 2019 at Worlds 27 held in Nashville, TN, award recipients were from the Southeastern Region of the United States: Wayne & Yvonne Conover, Darlene Long/Crabtree, Clark & Debbie Fullbright, Jean Garr, Eddie Harper, Jeff & Mary Hill, John & Susan Hoffman, Vickie Vance/Rose, Earl & Lisa Strom, and Lisa West.

In January, 2020 at Worlds 28 held in Nashville, TN, award recipients were from the Northeastern and central mid-west region of the U.S., as well as Eastern Canada. B.J. Brown, Russ Drollinger, Carol Fleming-Wooldridge, Mary Hoedeman-Coniaris, T.E. Mayo, Gordon & Jodi Moore, John & Josie Neel, and David Thornton.

The next presentations will occur at the Worlds event in Phoenix, AZ in January, 2023.

The first Events Sanctioned in 1990 and 1991:
Wine Country (Little Bit of Texas) – Dennis & Carol Waite
Sunshine State – Grant Austin
Peach State Country Dance Festival – Bill Robinson
Texas Classic – Larry and Laurie Sepulvado

The first Event Sanctioned outside the United States:
1992 – The Calgary Country Dance Stampede directed by Garry Nanninga

The first Event Sanctioned outside North America:
1993 – The British Dance Championships directed by Dick & Geneva Matteis

The first Event Sanctioned in Europe:
1994 – The European Dance Championships

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