Established in 1996 by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company founder Jeraldyne Blunden, the JOSIE Award was created to recognize individual excellence in the art of dance. Named in tribute to Josephine Schwarz, the JOSIE Award acknowledges the significant contributions of dancers to this community while paying homage to a "pillar" in the dance world.

Dancers from Dayton's professional dance companies-Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Dayton Ballet and Rhythm In Shoes-are eligible for this distinction and vote for their peers along with selected VIP judges within the community to select each season's outstanding male and female dancer. Previous winners include:

Sheri "Sparkle" Williams and G.D. Harris, DCDC (1996)
Gina Gardner, DCDC and Christopher Grider, Dayton Ballet (1997)
DeShona Pepper, DCDC and Nate Cooper, RIS (1998)
Sasha Janes and Rebecca Carmazzi, Dayton Ballet (1999)
Rachel Carmazzi, Dayton Ballet and Terrence Greene, DCDC (2000)
Greer Reed and Alvin J. Rangel, DCDC (2001)
Monnette Bariel and Ricardo J. Garcia Cruz, DCDC (2002)
Anna Kirker and Kirk Henning, Dayton Ballet (2003)
Sharon Lancaster, Dayton Ballet and Daniel Marshall, DCDC (2004)
William B. McClellan, Jr., DCDC and Emily Gotschall, Dayton Ballet (2005)
Julius Brewster-Cotton, DCDC and Emma Leahy-Good, RIS (2006)
Queala Clancy, DCDC and Richard Grund, Dayton Ballet (2007)
Suzanne Payne, DCDC and (a tie) Paul Gilliam and Justin Michael Koertgen, both Dayton Ballet (2008)
Jennifer Grund and Grant Dettling, both Dayton Ballet (2009)
Crystal Michelle and H. Deondre Horner III, DCDC (2010)
Rebecca Sparks and LaMoi Hedrington, DCDC (2011)
Nabachwa Ssensalo (DCDC) and Case Bodamer Dayton Ballet (2012)