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NDEO Certificate in Dance EducationOPDI

The Certificate in Dance Education (CiDE) is conferred on a student candidate who successfully completes 33 Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) in Dance Education through the NDEO Online Professional Development Institute (OPDI)™.
The CiDE is a highly personalized program of study designed to help the student become highly qualified in any environment in which s/he teaches – K-12, college or university, private studio or community center, or as a teaching artist. The 33 units consist of a program of OPDI courses selected for the student based on the student’s prior training and professional experience in light of future career goals.

Declaring a CiDE

After the successful completion of the first nine CEUs of OPDI course work, the student who wants to earn a CiDE must declare their intention to pursue the CiDE. The student is assigned a mentor from the OPDI professional staff so they can jointly develop a 33-unit program of study that addresses the student’s future needs based on prior training and experience. The time in which a CiDE can be completed depends on the student’s work schedule and availability. Upon successful completion of the CiDE, the office issues an NDEO-endorsed Certificate in Dance Education.

Why pursue the Certificate in Dance Education?

The CiDE supports all dance educators working in diverse teaching environments such as PreK-12, colleges and universities, private studios and schools of dance, performing arts organizations (PAOs), and community/cultural centers.

  1. The CiDE promotes lifelong learning. Regardless of the environment in which one teaches, lifelong learning is essential. Ninety percent of teachers do not receive the professional development they want or need due to lack of opportunity, inaccessibility, and financial cost. OPDI is accessible and affordable and provides 24/7 asynchronous learning opportunities for all dance educators regardless of their professional status or geographic location.
  2. The CiDE supports K-12 state certification. Depending on the local education agency (LEA), the CiDE enables the certified K-12 teacher to: (a) earn an endorsement in dance beyond their K-12 state certification; (b) attain highly qualified teacher (HQT) status; (c) earn pay raises; and (d) provide CEUs to retain state certification.
  3. The CiDE enhances credentialing for the private studio teacher. The private school or studio teacher uses the CiDE to: (a) display a credential in their studio to support teacher competency; (b) earn CEUs to attain or retain the Registered Dance Educator’s credential (RDE) conferred by the National Registry of Dance Educators; and (c) show evidence of lifelong learning in dance.
  4. The CiDE attests to a well-rounded training experience. Teachers of dance need to show evidence of possessing a strong, well-rounded background in dance in pedagogy, history, research, learning theory, and disabilities education beyond their specialty genre technique. This is especially true for private sector educators teaching in studios, performing arts organizations, and community or cultural centers.
  5. The CiDE enables the Teaching Artist to acquire specialized training in dance arts education. Special courses guide the teaching artist through pedagogy, theory, and practicum to become “highly qualified” as a Teaching Artist. NDEO offers a certification in this track.

CiDE Costs and Requirements

  • As with all OPDI students, CiDE students must be accpeted into OPDI and be current NDEO members.
  • All courses require a minimum of 6-8 hours/week of study to fulfill course requirements – complete required readings, execute and post required assignments, share work with other classmates, and make, view, and critique videos.
  • OPDI 3 unit courses cost $500 (12 weeks); 1.5 unit courses cost $285 (6 weeks); 1 unit courses cost $190 (4 weeks).
    • NDEO CiDE (33 units) = approx. $5,500 - $6,100 over 3-5 years
  • In cases where a student needs college credit from a higher education institution (available for select OPDI courses), additional fees apply. Please see course descriptions or contact for more information and current fees.

FAQs: National/International K-12 Education and the CiDE

To teach in U.S. public K-12 education, the dance teacher must have an undergraduate degree, preferably a major or minor in dance, take all required credits in education theory and practicum mandated by the local education agency (LEA), and pass a teacher’s exam to obtain a K-12 state dance certification license or credential. Assuming the OPDI dance educator is already certified by the state to teach in K-12 schools, the dance educator must check with his/her LEA to find out what evidence that LEA requires for continuing education units, endorsements, pay raises, HQT status, etc. Many LEAs accept NDEO endorsed CEUs. The NDEO CiDE does not constitute nor replace state dance certification.

If you teach internationally, NDEO advises that you check with your institution and its administrative services to learn what evidence that country requires to prove teacher competency. Requirements differ between countries just as requirements differ between the US 15,000+ school districts. Only your institution and country administrative offices can provide that information.

In either case, whether you teach in the U.S. or internationally, bring clear and full documentation on the rigor, scope and depth of the NDEO as an organization, the OPDI, and the CiDE program to share with your administration. To do this, download the CiDE course descriptions and credential requirements. Plan on leaving the documentation behind so decision makers can study the information on their own timeline, use it to validate a decision, and reference it later. More often than not, the reputation and integrity of NDEO, the OPDI, and the CiDE program constitute approval in U.S. and international education.

If you have any questions about NDEO's Certificate in Dance Education, please email

Ready to start earning your NDEO Certificate in Dance Education?