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Priorities for Dance Education

Connect Connect the Field Build Build Knowledge   Cultivate Cultivate Leadership

The Priorities for Dance Education provide both a framework for NDEO’s programs, services, and governance, and a call to action for our members. They are designed to guide the work that we all do, individually and as an organization, by highlighting the needs of the field of dance education and offering goals and strategies to meet these needs. According to the chair of the Priorities Task Force, Susan Gingrasso, “NDEO Priorities for Dance Education calls each of us to action, as individuals and as a whole community, and emphasizes NDEO’s role as a change agent in arts education and as a “home” through which we share ideas and gain support for change.”

A Call to Action

Through the Priorities for Dance Education, NDEO members are encouraged to consider the ways that their work Connects the Field, Builds Knowledge, and Cultivates Leadership. Much of what we already do supports these Priorities, as connection, knowledge, and leadership are integral to the way that we as dancers experience, create, think about, and share our work. When we reflect on our current practices using the framework of the Priorities, we will likely find myriad ways that we are encouraging connections, knowledge, and leadership for ourselves and our students. It is also likely, however, that we will uncover new ways to integrate these Priorities into our work, and to use them to advocate for the importance of what we do to stakeholders on the national, state, and local levels. Click here to read more.

Priority Area

Connect Connect the Field

Build Build Knowledge

Cultivate Cultivate Leadership

Big Idea

Dance education creates a wide range of opportunities to illuminate, embody, and express oneself as an individual and as a participant in a variety of communities. NDEO and its partners work collaboratively and collectively using dance strategies to promote a range of professional and cultural practices, transcend perceived differences, and honor the individual within the growing community of dance educators.

To carry out the work outlined in the industry standards, dance educators need easy access to a wide range of timely, useful, and accurate information that can support their efforts. NDEO and its many partners work to ensure that all dance educators, other key stakeholders, and decision makers have the knowledge and resources needed to deliver dance education in fine arts.

Recognizing that all dance professionals are leaders in their own situations, access to resources and mentors are essential for leadership development. NDEO and its partners work to change the conversation about leadership in our field and foster a new and diverse leadership who can ensure that dance has representation among the arts.


Develop and promote a community of individuals, organizations, and institutions who share a passion for excellence in dance education, artistry, research, and administration

Build, promote, and share knowledge that impacts teaching and learning in and through dance.

Equip experienced and emerging professionals in the field with opportunities to develop and exhibit leadership skills.


-Develop mechanisms for sharing dance experiences and expertise within and across teaching and learning environments.

-Encourage intergenerational teaching and learning in dance.

-Encourage cultural equity and exchange in dance.

-Encourage connections among varied geographic areas.

-Facilitate a culture of respect among dance professionals across practice areas.

-Cultivate and maintain relationships with potential partners in the field.

-Raise the visibility and credibility of dance as an art form and academic discipline with discrete content, skills, and knowledge to be learned

-Review, revise, and disseminate industry standards, policy papers, and resources for the field.

-Support a variety of professional development opportunities (via conferences, online education, media, and others) for dance educators, artists, and administrators teaching in diverse sections of dance.

-Develop and promote existing and new tools and resources.

-Expand the scope and depth of opportunities for research in dance.

-Identify research priorities.

-Recognize, celebrate, and cultivate the diverse leadership across generations and constituencies.

-Support effective dance education leaders.

-Identify the needs of the professional as well as the field.

-Engage with and build relationships in the field to identify and promote leaders.

-Create and expand leadership support and experiences.

-Guide and empower emerging leaders to promote diversity and longevity in the field.


The process of devising the Priorities for Dance Education began in 2016 by NDEO’s Applied Strategic Planning task force. Throughout our organizational history, NDEO has used an Applied Strategic Plan to guide the work we do to fulfill our mission statement: “To advance dance education centered in the arts [to provide] the dance artist, educator and administrator a network of resources and support, a base for advocacy and research, and access to professional development opportunities that focus on the importance of dance in the human experience.” In 2016, when the task force convened to begin work on a revised version of the ASP, they focused on two essential questions, “How do we push the field forward to ensure #DanceEducationForAll? What is our next set of priorities?” From this line of questioning, the Priorities for Dance Education were determined, and a series of goals and strategies for their implementation were devised. Click here to read more.

The priorities for Dance Education are reflected in the organization of NDEO's top menu bar.  Navigate through them to see how NDEO connects with the priorities:

  • Connect = Connect the Field
  • Learn = Build Knowledge
  • Get Involved = Cultivate leadership