The National Dance Education Organization has developed three sets of standards that provide the American dance education community with a continuum of learning and teaching dance in the arts for infants through professionals. NDEO has also developed a fourth set of standards defining “model” programs in dance arts education.
The standards are designed for use by all dance arts constituencies: private studios of dance, professional schools, PreK-12 schools, arts organizations, community cultural centers, teacher training programs, and higher education. Dance educators, administrators, legislators, students, parents, and anyone interested in dance education in the arts will be able to use the standards to develop curriculum, understand the breadth and scope of excellence in dance education, and assess if programs or individuals are achieving what students should know and be able to do in the art of dance.
Brief descriptions of each of the sets of standards are provided below. For information on the development of the standards and suggestions for use, see the links on the right hand side of the page.
Standards for Dance in Early Childhood
All children have a right to enjoy dance. These standards provide parents, care-givers, teachers, and administrators with guidelines of what children should know and be able to do each year from birth through five years of age in the arts-making processes of Performing, Creating, Responding to, and Interconnecting dance. The developmental progression is based on neurological development, motor development, social development, and cognitive development as well as artistic learning. The standards are outlined by age, arranged in a progressive chart, and listed in a rubric for assessment purposes.
Standards for Learning and Teaching Dance in the Arts:
All children have a right to enjoy quality dance education taught by a qualified dance educator in a graduated and sequential curriculum. These standards serve as a guide for dance teachers, artists, administrators, and students for the benchmark years of 4th grade (9-10 years), 8th grade (13-14 years), and 12th grade (17-18 years). They outline what students should know and be able to do in the art of dance in the arts-making processes of Performing, Creating, Responding, and Interconnecting. The standards are outlined in the benchmark ages, arranged in a progressive chart, listed in a rubric for assessment purposes, and written in reading levels of 4th, 8th, and 12th graders so that students can use the standards for their own learning and development.
In August 2011, The College Board produced a report for the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) as a resource to understand the manner in which the 1994 Standards for Arts Education aligned with the thirteen skills outlined in the 21st Century Skills Map released by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. In coordination with the other arts of Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts, it reviewed the standards for dance included in the 1994 document to provide an informed resource to aid in the development of a new generation of Core Arts Standards. NDEO analyzed our 2005 Standards for Learning and Teaching Dance in the Arts to the 21st Century Skills. The goal is to learn where the standards share similarities with the 21st Century Skills and where ideas diverge. To read the full introduction to the gap analysis, click here. To download (NDEO members) or purchase (non-members) the full gap analysis, click here.
Professional Teaching Standards for Dance Arts
The Professional Teaching Standards for Dance Arts (PTSDA) describe the criteria expected of accomplished dance educators. These eight professional teaching standards address four domains of knowledge, which include the mastery of dance content, the skills and knowledge in dance, the mastery of teaching and learning dance in relationship to education and community resources, and the mastery of reflective practice – research, student/teacher assessments, and program evaluation.
The PTSDA grew out of a long-term need to recognize master and highly qualified dance educators teaching dance in the arts within higher education, Pre-K-12 education, private schools of dance, and performing arts institutions. In dialogue with the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards over the past eight years, NBPTS agrees they will not likely develop standards for dance. Thus, NDEO accepted the challenge.
The PTSDA may be used in ascertaining the “highly qualified” status of a dance educator in a state transitioning to full dance certification; or, in states without certification, they may be applied in formulating policy towards certification in dance education.
Standards for a K-12 Model Program:
Opportunities To Learn in Dance Arts Education
The Standards for a K-12 Model Program: Opportunities To Learn in Dance Arts Education describe the minimum criteria expected of model dance programs in K-12 schools. These standards provide guidelines for the channel of delivery, curriculum, access, scheduling, high school graduation requirements, budgeting, teacher qualifications, assessment and evaluation, professional development, facilities and equipment, and the professional engagement of educators and administrators. Implementation of these Opportunity To Learn Standards creates the conditions necessary for students to gain the content skills and knowledge outlined in the Standards for Learning and Teaching Dance in the Arts. These standards may be used by both educators and administrators to develop, strengthen, and evaluate dance arts programs in their schools.
Child's Bill of Rights in Dance
Click Here to Download or Purchase Standards
All standards are available in electronic formatting through the NDEO online store. You will receive an email with a download link after completing your transaction. Members must be logged in to receive the standards for free.
Nonmembers: $8.00 per download
The Early Childhood
and Ages 5-18
standards are available in print.