Sherry Lawson Martin has been dancing for over forty years and has been teaching West Coast Swing for over twenty years. In the summer of 1983 she met Dave and Betty Miller at “Stingers Lounge” who encouraged her to join the Southside Dance Club. She danced in her first competition with Bobby Hawkins that fall at Northside Missouri State. In 1984, her real inspiration came when she saw Barry Jones and Judy Ford dance to “It’s Raining Men” at her first Midwest Challenge event.

Sherry has competed, taught, and judged all over the country. Dancing is a major part of her life, which she loves to share with others. She has been blessed with some wonderful awards, including the National Swing Dance Hall of Fame; Dallas Dance Hall of Fame; Midwest Swing Dance Hall of Fame; the U. S. Open Humanitarian Award; and Member of the Year at her local club. She says, “The best feeling in the world is being recognized by your peers!” And, she has learned over the years that every dancer in the audience is on the performer’s side – “Everyone wants you to do your best.”

Sherry has won so many competitions, the list below does not include them all. When asked why she has competed so much, she says she loves to perform and is a real ham. She compares performing on the dance floor to the rush one gets riding the Screaming Eagle. She also loves the friends, fun, exercise, knowledge, and travel that dancing has brought into her life. She teaches because she has taken so many dance classes that she feels she has a lot to share, and she we ars her U.S. Open and Dallas Dance Hall of Fame rings always, “They’re my diamonds!”

A little know fact about Sherry is that she’s a fairly good artist and is a real “house mouse” because she loves to cook, sew, and garden. She hopes the dance community will continue to grow and try new things, with dancers incorporating the best of every form of Swing into their dance. As Sherry puts it, “Life is a process of change and growth, and dancing should be the same.”

Awards & Accomplishments:
  • 3-Time St Louis City Jitterbug Champion with three different partners
  • 2-Time U.S. Open National Champion – Showcase Division
  • 1984-1989 – Undefeated St Louis Invitational Champion
  • 1985 – Dance Fever Contestant
  • 1989 – “Starmania” Finalist, performed in Las Vegas
  • 1990 – Midwest Challenge Showcase Champion
  • 1990 – National Midwest Regional Showcase Winner
  • 1991-92 – MDA Charity Ball Champion
  • Missouri and Illinois State Classic Champion
  • Dallas Dance Showcase & Pro-Am Champion
  • Dallas Dance Speed Swing Champion – sponsored by Kenny Wetzel
  • 1st Buddy Austin Classic Champion with Terry Rippa
  • National Swing Federation Championships Jack & Jill Winner with Jerry Crim
  • 2-Time Michigan State Champion
  • Missouri State Swing Dance Championship award for “Excellence in Footwork”
  • GateWay Dance Festival Swing Open Classic Champion
  • St Louis Invitational Strictly Swing Champion
  • St Louis West End Dance Contest Champion
  • U.S. Open Humanitarian Award Recipient
  • 4-Time Hall of Fame Recipient
  • National Swing Dance Hall of Fame
  • Dallas Dance Hall of Fame
  • Widwest Swing Federation Hall of Fame
  • National Bob Association Hall of Fame
  • Southside Imperial Dance Club Member of the Year
  • On the cover of Dance Action Magazine with her St Louis City Jitterbug Champion partner, Brad Silk
  • 1993 – National Swing Dance Hall of Fame Inductee
Bio provided by Sherry Lawson Martin - Photos courtesy of Sherry Martin, Annie Hirsch, & Terry Rippa