5 Ways to Celebrate "Dance in Your Schools" Month
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Did you know that the month of March is dedicated to dance in schools?
Every March, the National Dance Education Organization celebrates Dance in Your Schools Month. We recognize the benefits of dance education as part of the curriculum, acknowledge the achievements of students and teachers in the K-12 setting, and advocate for high-quality dance education in all schools.
Research and anecdotal evidence indicate that dance, when taught by a qualified dance educator, contributes to students’ physical, emotional, and social well-being by providing a method of physical fitness, an outlet for personal expression, and a means to develop empathy and social-emotional skills. Students who study dance develop 21st century skills such as collaboration, communication, and creativity, and dance has been shown to positively affect students’ attitudes, perceptions, and values. When integrated into the K-12 curriculum, dance keeps students engaged in school, enhances learning when integrated into academic subjects, and improves overall school culture. Access to dance in K-12 education is an important tool for providing dance education for all students.
We invite you to join us in celebrating dance in PK-12 education this March. Here are 5 ways you can get involved:
- Show off your school’s dance program: Offer an informal concert or lecture-demonstration for the community, perform at a school assembly, show a video clip from a recent concert during announcements, or host after-school dance classes open to all students and staff. Let your school and community see how amazing your dance program is!
- Advocate for your school dance program: Write a letter to the editor of your local paper highlighting your school’s dance program and the value of dance education in schools. Call your local government officials or attend a school board meeting to encourage more access to and support for dance in your school or district. Talk with your principal or superintendent about the important role dance plays in education and its impact on your students.
- Recognize your dance students: If your school does not yet host a chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA), start one this month! NHSDA is a great way to promote dance in your school and honor your students’ artistic merit, academic achievement, and leadership. If you already have an active NHSDA chapter at your school, plan a special chapter project or celebration during the month of March.
- Let your students be heard: Plan a class project in which students prepare video or written testimonials about the role of dance in their education and the importance of having access to dance in their school. Share with your school community at assemblies, in the school paper, on social media, or by displaying in the hallways.
- Get the facts about dance education - and share them!: NDEO is a great resource for information about the benefit of dance education in schools. Check out Evidence: A Report on the Impact of Dance in the K-12 Setting and Stand Up for Dance in America’s K-12 Schools. NDEO members will also find valuable articles about dance in PK-12 education in the Dance Education Literature and Research descriptive index (DELRdi), Journal of Dance Education, and Dance Education in Practice. These resources will equip you with the information needed to successfully advocate for dance in your school! Not yet an NDEO member? Join today!
As the leading voice for dance arts education nationally, NDEO is proud to celebrate Dance in Schools Month. We recognize the important role that K-12 education provides in ensuring access to dance education for all. We will continue to work alongside our members to advance dance arts education!
How will your school be celebrating? Share in the comments, or on social media - be sure to tag NDEO and use the hashtag #DanceInYourSchools.
Photos of students at Great Oak High School by Angela Criscimagna, Courtesy of Temecula Valley Unified School District