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National Honor Society for Dance Arts: Secondary Program (ages 11-18)



Founded in 2005, the National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA) is one of the most exciting benefits that NDEO offers Institutional Members. All Institutional Members, whether a private or public middle or high school, dance studio/academy, performing arts center or community center, are eligible to establish a chapter of the NHSDA for the benefit of their students. 





Establishing a National Honor Society for Dance Arts in your school is one very important way that you can help advance the field of dance education. Celebrating the artistic and academic achievements of exceptional dance students helps to create honor and prestige within our field and improve our image to those outside the field.


Want to Start an NHSDA Chapter?  If so, then your school must become an Institutional Member of NDEO. To join NDEO, click here. For questions, contact the NDEO office at 301-585-2880.


In January 2012, NDEO launched the NHSDA Collegiate Program for college and university students. For more information, click here.


NHSDA Vision

We envision a nation in which all students have equal opportunity and access to quality dance arts education and are recognized for their outstanding artistic merit, leadership, and academic achievement in the field of dance.



  1. To recognize outstanding artistic merit, leadership and academic achievement in students studying dance in public and private schools in K-12 education, dance studios, cultural/community centers, performing arts organizations and post-secondary education.
  2. To foster an appreciation for dance as a true art form and one worthy of recognition and prestige.



Chapter Sponsor Resources


Artistic Merit, Leadership, Achievement Award





NHSDA Secondary Program Goals

  1. To identify honor students of junior and senior high school age for nomination to the NDEO Artistic Merit, Leadership and Academic Achievement Award, one of the highest honors programs for dance in the United States.
  2. To promote a desire for life-long learning in the field of dance.
  3. To encourage an understanding of and an appreciation for dance as an art form and to develop knowledgeable audiences for tomorrow. 


Photo by Rose Eichenbaum  




Photo by Rose Eichenbaum




Benefits for Students


Student induction into the NHSDA is awarded on the basis of points earned for meritorious work in dance. Other factors may include the following: dance class grade point average, cooperative teamwork, motivation, outreach, choreography, performance, teaching and production.  Inductees receive a Certificate of Induction, added prestige in scholarship applications and future resumes, wear NHSDA honor cords and gold honor pins during graduation ceremonies and are eligible to apply for the NDEO Artistic Merit, Leadership and Academic Achievement Award.  



Benefits for Schools


The NHSDA program brings well deserved recognition to outstanding students and your school.  Administrators will recognize the importance of dance as an art form and an academic discipline that contributes toward academic achievement, workforce skills, and life skills. The point system reinforces the values the dance educator considers important in dance, art, education and life. Congratulatory letters from the Executive Director of NDEO are sent to the principal, superintendent and state arts coordinator when a student/school progresses to national adjudication of the NDEO Artistic Merit, Leadership and Academic Achievement Award





Photo by Rose Eichenbaum






Photo by Rose Eichenbaum






The chapter sponsor (dance teacher) is responsible for determining when a student has met the criteria for becoming an official member of the school's chapter.  These criteria should reflect the values upon which the school's program is founded and be supported by the NHSDA eligibility guidelines and the national point system. The chapter sponsor is also responsible for ordering necessary Certificate of Memberships, conducting an induction ceremony, and ordering Honor Cords and Gold Honor Pins for graduating seniors. In addition, the chapter sponsor can choose to enlarge the scope of the NHSDA at her/his school by engaging in activities other than just induction such as performances, fundraising, field trips and service projects.   





The main expense in setting up an NHSDA chapter is the annual membership dues of $185 a year that the sponsoring school has to pay to become an Institutional Member of NDEO. Students who are inducted into the NHSDA do not have to become individual members of NDEO, nor do they have to pay a fee to be inducted. However, there are minor costs associated with Certificates of Induction ($8 per student), Honor Cords ($15 per graduating student), and Gold Honor Pins ($7 per graduating student.)  Coming soon, we will be offering NHSDA T-shirts for sale to any inducted member.







Photo by Rose Eichenbaum