Siouxland Tri- State Massage Championship (SD, IA & NE)

Our next championship is April 26-27, 2025 in Omaha

2025's event will be taking place at the Omaha School of Massage on April 26-27th!!

We are excited to be continuing the South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska State Massage Championship in 2025. There will be up to 3 places for each category and top 3 overall from each state.

Our State Director, Danielle competed in our national American Massage Championship (AMC) July 2023 and at the Arizona State Championship in November of 2023. After competing two different times, she realized the importance of competing in our industry.

Each state will have their own 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. 1st place gets their 2025 AMC and WMF registrations paid for ($750 value), plus amazing, uplifting, learning experience to take back to your businesses!

Follow us on Facebook and invite other SD Massage therapists to join our State Championship Facebook page at 
Iowa therapists page at
Nebraska therapists page at

Check out our FAQ and CE classes below!

Championships are primarily a competition, but at the same time an opportunity for Massage Therapists to find professional inspiration and networking.

AMC is the US national level before the world massage festival.

There is also a worldwide Massage Championship called IMA which next Championship is June 28 – June 30, 2024 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Judges will evaluate the participants in the following areas with a point system:
  • Techniques
  • Ergonomics
  • Flow 
  • Innovation and Development of new methods
  • Client contact
  • Recipient feedback
The participants can’t expect feedback and score results from the judges neither during or after the competition.
All decisions regarding the competition are made collective within the group of Judges – this is to make sure the competition is as fair as possible.

The Final:
The Duration of the Final is 65 minutes.
Massage recipients (Professional and highly educated Massage Therapists) hand up to 6 points depending on their experience of the massage they receive.
The head judges are able to hand out 3 points each to only one finalist.
The Winner will be the Massage Therapist who gets the most points, and he/she is appointed as Overall State Champion in Massage 2024.
Each state will have their own set of massage categories to choose from. Here are the Massage categories as well as a short description for each:

  1. Student:
    • The only free category at this event!
    • ONLY for those currently enrolled in school or graduated within this past year • Must have proof of current enrollment or graduation date
    • Allows students to demonstrate the techniques and skills they have learned and developed while also getting feedback to improve.
    • You may use any IMA-modality (categories 1-9 above) or combination of techniques while competing under this category heading.
  2. Clinical:
    • Focuses on pre and post assessment of the recipient. Apply a variety of techniques to provide relief. 
    • You must show that you can …  
      • Treat a problem area-
      • Demonstrate/explain how and why the treatment type was a good choice
      • Exhibit efficacy
    • You may use any IMA-modality (categories 1-9 above) or combination of techniques while competing under this category heading. 
    • After the 60 min bell rings the judges will interview the client and therapist separately 
  3. Thai (Traditional or table):
    • Thai massage techniques used in this style aim to relaxation and to the treatment of musculoskeletal as well as psychological issues
    • Use of tools is allowed (recommended for maximum 20%) • Stretching is allowed • The receiver is mostly fully clothed • The use of oil is
      allowed (recommended for maximum 20%) •Mobilization of joint is allowed • Shoes is not allowed in Thai massage
  4. Freestyle (Open):
    • In this category you are able to combine techniques from western massage styles such as Swedish massage, Myofacial release, Muscle energy techniques, Sports massage, California massage and other
    • Use of tools is allowed (recommended for maximum 50%) • Stretching is allowed • Mobilization of joint is allowed • The use of oil is allowed

Participants can choose 1-2 categories of their chose at registration.

Disclaimer: Categories may need to be added or dropped based on number of participants per group by time of event.
Participants are informed, that the judges at the competition are capable of evaluating the individual treatment and please note, that a treatment can be placed in several categories.

Must have either South Dakota, Iowa, or Nebraska current massage license.
Specify which state licensed with proof when apply to participate.
  1. Each Massage Therapist can participate in 1 or 2 categories
  2. Non-English speaking participants can bring their own translator for briefing speeches and general communication.
  3. Dress Code: Participants are allowed to wear personal sponsorship clothing or any other National suit that fits the category. Participants must wear sports shoes, sports pants or yoga pants, T-shirts etc.. Shoes are not allowed in Thai Yoga Massage.
  4. Participants are to bring their own sheets, towels, tools, etc.. massage creams and oils also sponsored to the South Dakota Massage Therapy Championships 2024. The participants are not obliged to use these products, but South Dakota Massage Therapy Championships can highly recommend the use of these during the Championship
  5. The recipient of the massage must wear underwear at all times and have covered their chest (if she is a woman). Any area which is not being worked on must be covered/draped.
  6. No cameras are allowed during the rounds and the final. Unauthorized use of cameras and recordings can result in expulsion.
  7. Insurance – It is your own insurance that covers both you and the participant you treat during the competition.
  8. There is an absolute zero tolerance policy concerning inappropriate behavior. Any massage of sensual/sexual nature would result in immediate disqualification and expulsion from the Championship.
  9. All participants are required to receive a massage, as well as giving massages. If necessary the SDMTC will arrange for suitable candidates/massage recipients in particular cases.
  10. No chiropractic and osteopathic manipulations are allowed during the competition.
  11. The South Dakota Massage Therapy Championships decide which music will be played during the SD Championship in Massage. 
Interested in being a judge?
Step 1: Send us a Facebook message that you are interested
Step 2: Review the IMA points system at
Step 3: watch the 1st online judge lesson from IMA at
Step 4: Be present for the Championship March 15, 2024
- Prefer to have 10 years of massage expierence or massage instructor

Judging is closed for 2024
2025 Registration will open fall/winter 2024

Preferred method- send check to Siouxland Massage Championship
4309 S Louise Ave Ste 201
Sioux Falls, SD 57106

Online method- Venmo @sdmtc

2025 Ashiatsu

Rhonda Larkins will be teaching Ashiatsu at our 2025 Championship. Expected to be on April 27th, 2025 in Omaha, NE. More details to come. Check out Rhonda's Facebook:

Sponsors imageSponsors image
Don't want to compete or judge? Don't worry, we still have an opportunity for you to get involved in our next championship which will be held April 26-27th, 2025 in Omaha, NE.

There are five different sponsorship packages set at different prices. As a sponsor you'll receive a variety of amenities that can help you and your business grow further. You can also sponsor a massage category, or CE Class to help massage therapists continue learning

Check out the benefits that each package has to offer and their value. If you're interested, contact us today!

Check out our 2025 sponsors:

Tru Massage Therapy Danielle Schwantes in Sioux Falls, SD
Omaha School of Massage Directed by Steve Carper 
The first annual Siouxland Massage Championship took place March 15th-17th in Chamberlain, South Dakota. We were lucky enough to host massage therapists from South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska in our Championship and CE classes.

During day one, we had 16 incredibly talented massage therapists compete. We had three different categories (Clinical, freesyle/open, thai) and therapists were allowed to compete in up to two of those categories.

On March 16th we had Chris Ormseth teach one of his final cupping classes. That same day, Mark Carangelo from New Jersey started day-one of his two-day Functional Integrated Therapy class (FIT).

The SDMTC appreciates everyone involved in make the 2024 event happenn. We can't wait for 2025!!

 Check out some of our pics! 

South Dakota Winners

From left to right: Tonia McGeorge (second place), Molly Goin (first place), JoEllen Dykstra (third place)

Iowa Winners

From left to right: Christiana Herrmann (third place), Felicia Williams (second place), Susan Barg (first place)

North Dakota Winners

From left to right: Josi-Rae Ebsen (second place), Michelle Kinzler (first place), Scott McNeal (third place)

Nebraska Winner

Cassie Sprague (first place)

Freestyle Winners

From left to right: Susan Barg (first place), Michelle Kinzler (second place), Molly Goin (third place)

Clinical Winners

From left to right: Tonia McGeorge (third place), Michelle Kinzler (first place), Amberley Hardwick (second place)

Thai Winner

Christiana Herrmann (first place)

  •  7/12/2024 08:00 AM
  •   777 Casino Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719, USA

This is AMC's 3rd Annual World wide massage championship Danielle Schwantes, our state director competed in 2023 competition and will be competing in 2024 championship.

  •  11/18/2023 08:00 AM
  •   Phoenix, AZ, USA

Contact John Sanders directly to register or Ask Danielle Schwantes how to get in touch with John.

  • $250
  •  7/15/2023 08:00 AM - 7/17/2023 06:00 PM
  •   Cherokee, North Carolina, Cherokee, NC, USA

The World Massage Festival is pleased to announce that we will be hosting the American Massage Championships sanctioned by the International Massage Association at the 2023 Festival! Competition dates are July 15-16, 2023 By participating in the American Massage Championships, the Massage Therapists will get the opportunity to strengthen and improve their skills. A certificate will be issued for each participant, enabling the Massage Therapists to brand their business in a new way. Participation fee: $250 (Fee non-refundable) Proof of your insurance coverage MUST be submitted.