Please Wait a Moment

History of NDEO

The National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) sprang into existence full grown with support from major leadership in dance education to create an independent and autonomous organization that would fulfill the needs of the field and address dance as an art in education and private schools of dance.

NDEO was voted into existence on March 6, 1998 by its first Board of Directors. In April 1998, a national office was established outside of Washington, DC in close proximity to other national arts and education associations, federal agencies, and offices whose work impacts the arts education agenda in America. In late May 1998, NDEO received its 501c3 non-profit status from the IRS, and in September 1998, NDEO had its first paid staff, Jane Bonbright, the Founding Executive Director, and Rima Faber, Program Director. 

NDEO initiated an important, on-going dialogue with other professional organizations and legislative bodies to address the issues and policy decisions that impact quality dance education in America 's schools, studios and universities. NDEO was very quickly recognized as both an informed voice and leader for dance in arts education among its peers and the multiple organizations and agencies with whom NDEO networks to advance dance education centered in the arts. NDEO gained recognition in substantial grants, building partnerships, publishing student and teacher standards for education and arts, and spearheading national programs.

The National Dance Education Organization has helped dozens of states obtain dance certification, established State Affiliates to cultivate dance education on the local and regional level, and published several major sets of dance education standards for students and teachers that create a continuum for teaching and learning dance from birth through master teacher level. NDEO publishes two important dance education journals, supports an honor society for outstanding dance students at the secondary and collegiate levels, offers online professional development to dance educators, and hosts numerous conferences throughout the year for the field to come together to learn and celebrate all that dance can achieve.

NDEO honors its past but respects the critical issues before us in the 21st century. NDEO founders Dr. Jane Bonbright and Dr. Rima Faber. Photo by Rose Eichenbaum.