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Independent Sector Mentorship

Cohort #2 Applications Open - Apply by June 16th, 2024

This program serves as a support system for independent sector teachers and studio owners with fewer than five years of experience (mentees) in the field of dance education. The program also provides those with five or more years of experience in the Independent Sector (mentors) an opportunity to share their experience and lend guidance to these emerging dance educators. In addition, the ISMP offers collaborative mentorship opportunities for those interested in cooperative learning.

Mentorship pairings will be matched in terms of similarities in job attributes, learner populations, and needs assessment. Both mentor and mentee should plan for a two-year commitment, however, it may continue and grow in an alternate form for as long as the participants wish.

Independent Sector Dance Educators are members of the following populations:

  • Private Studio Owners/Teachers
  • Private Studio Teachers
  • Independent Teachers
  • Emerging Studio Owners
  • Undergraduate & Graduate Students interested in the indpendent sector
  • Teaching artists

Cohort 2 Applications Open

Deadline to Apply - Sunday June 16th, 2024 by 11:59pm EST

The Independent Sector Mentorship application needs to be completed in one sitting, there is no save and return feature. Please be prepared by previewing the questions below before you start the application. We suggest having your answers prepared before starting the application.

Preview Application Questions Here

To apply, make sure you are logged into your NDEO Member Account, go to member dashboard, and find the application under "Awards."  If you are not an NDEO Member, please join here before applying.

Member Dashboard - Apply Here


As a mentor, you will have the opportunity to draw from your experience as an educator as you guide a newer dance teacher, significantly contributing to the sustainability of the Independent Sector dance education field.


We learn something new every day. This is especially so during the first few years of teaching in the Independent Sector as you work to juggle teaching responsibilities, curriculum development, program administration, and performance productions. As a mentee, you will have the support of an experienced mentor/coach selected to match your personal disposition and current teaching situation.

Goals of the Mentorship Program

  • To provide a support system for dance educators with fewer than 5 years of experience.
  • To provide dance educators with 5 or more years of experience the opportunity to grow in leadership as they examine their own teaching strategies and perspectives by sharing their knowledge with a mentee or collaborative partner.
  • To acknowledge the important role of the Independent Sector in the field of dance education by creating a program where best practices can be framed and shared.
  • To provide support for high-quality curriculum design and instructional delivery in the Independent Sector through the intentional networking, leadership, and nurturing of new-to-the-field dance educators.

Application and Guidelines

The application contains several short and long response questions in regards to environment, teaching philosophy, strengths as an educator, and more.

Each mentor/mentee will need to agree the following guidelines if selected:

  • 2 year commitment
  • Maintain a current NDEO membership
  • Review the training powerpoint presentations and webinars provided
  • Set goals and expectations with mentor/mentee
  • Communicate with mentor/mentee partner ideally weekly (minimum twice a month)
  • Complete and submit monthly log reports
  • Utilize Basecamp for communication
  • Attend 4 Zoom meetings a year

A Mentor or Mentee may be removed from the program for not adhering to the above listed guidelines.

Not a current NDEO Member?

First, sign up For NDEO Membership, OR renew your expired membership before you complete the application. Both Mentor and Mentee must be current NDEO members to apply and remain members throughout the duration of the relationship.