By Brett Hart

Giving back to the community is anything but a second thought for this year’s Greatmats Dance Instructors of the Year. For the first time, the award will be shared by two instructors – 34-year-old Millbury, Massachusetts, twins Heidi Sulminski and Heather Gerardi of H&H Dance Academy. Known around the community simply as H&H, Heidi and Heather were stunned upon learning that they had been nominated for the award.

”We were very surprised and immediately touched by the thoughtfulness of some to nominate us,” they said. ”It means a lot to us that someone felt we portray the qualities (of service, integrity and quality), and that made us feel special.”

H&H has made a habit of supporting others whenever possible – whether its the local soccer or baseball organizations, D.A.R.E program, Santa breakfasts, or benefits for students – past and present – with health concerns. They have even gone so far as to create a scholarship in the name of a member’s mother who lost a battle with ALS and created a new program at their studio, called the Shooting Stars program, in honor a past student with down syndrome who lost a short battle to leukemia. H&H have volunteered their time and skills to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research and Boston’s Children’s Hospital among others.

”Born and raised in the town our business is inn, we feel pride to be able to give back to many organizations, and encourage our dancers to do the same,” they said.

The twins who will celebrate their 35th birthdays on the 27th of this month, have been professional dance instructors for 18 years and are currently celebrating their 10th anniversary of being owners and directors of H&H Dance Academy.

”We are honored to instruct so many students from year to year and have truly created a family friendly atmosphere,” H&H said.

As winners of the 2017 Greatmats National Dance Instructor of the Year Award H&H plan to use the prize of new Greatmats mats improve their acro program.

”We make a great team together and feel very fortunate to be able to do what we love with so many amazing dancers,” they said. ”We couldn’t believe how many people took the time to like our photo. The response was overwhelming.”