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Dance Education Blog

NDEO's "Dance Education" Blog features articles written by NDEO members about dance and dance education topics as well as periodic updates on NDEO programs and services. This is a FREE resource available to ALL.

If you are reading this blog post, there is a good chance that a dance teacher has made a big difference in your life. Maybe it is the instructor at the local community center who first introduced you to dance as a preschooler, or the professor who taught that college “Introduction to Dance” class that you enrolled in on a whim to secure an arts credit. It could be the educator at the dance program at your high school, the director of your studio’s competition team, or the mentor who took you under their wing and helped you start your own career as a dance teacher. Whoever they are, whenever they taught you, whether they are still an active part of your life or live on only in your memories: you know the impact that they have had on your life. Those special dance teachers deserved to be recognized and know they are appreciated - especially on Thank A Dance Teacher Day!

Thank A Dance Teacher Day is a global movement to shine the spotlight on dance education and the teachers who make it possible. It was started in 2014 by the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) to raise awareness of the benefits of dance education through social media. Held annually on the first Thursday in May, Thank A Dance Teacher Day is a perfect time to show your gratitude to the dance teachers who made all the difference. Make some plans now to celebrate Thank A Dance Teacher Day 2023 on May 4th!

Here are 8 ways that you can thank your current and former dance teachers on Thank A Dance Teacher Day, or any time of the year:

  1. Shout them out on social media: Write a nice post acknowledging your dance teacher, and listing specific ways that they have impacted you. Thank them for all that they have done for you and tell them how you are using what you have learned from them in your everyday life. Bonus points for adding fun throwback photos! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ThankADanceTeacherDay and tag National Dance Education Organization - NDEO on Facebook and ndeodance on Instagram!
  2. Send them a letter: If you prefer the more personal touch, you can write a letter or card to your dance teacher. In addition to saying thank you for the great training that they provided, you can also recall some favorite moments that you’ve shared with them. Writing a letter is a simple but meaningful gesture that your dance teacher will cherish!
  3. Make a donation in their honor: Donating to your dancer teacher’s favorite charitable organization in their honor is a great way to express your gratitude for everything they have done for you. When you make a donation in honor of your dance teacher, you are paying it forward and making a difference for others! If you don’t know your dance teacher’s favorite charity, consider making a donation to NDEO’s #DanceEducationforALL Fund.
  4. Refer a friend to their school or program: A referral is perhaps the best compliment you could pay your dance teacher! In addition to referring a friend, you can also consider writing a nice review of their school or studio, mentioning your teacher by name.
  5. Choreograph a dance for them: Show your dance teacher how much you’ve learned from them - and how much they mean to you - by choreographing a dance for them. Whether you choose to show your dance to them in person or share on social media, there is no doubt that your dance teacher will be moved by this thoughtful gesture!
  6. Surprise them with a little treat: Every dance teacher can use a pick-me-up every now and then! Consider picking up their favorite coffee or sweet treat and bringing it to class or rehearsal.
  7. Advocate for dance on their behalf: As dancers, we know how transformative dance education can be - but unfortunately, many people are not yet aware of the benefits of dance. You can honor your dance teacher by taking part in an advocacy program such as Arts ARE Education campaign.
  8. Live your best life, with gratitude for dance and your dance teachers: More than anything, your dance teachers want you to be happy and fulfilled. One of the best ways to thank your dance teachers is to live well, and with the awareness of how dance has impacted you. Work hard, try your best, be your authentic self, and don’t forget to dance!

Remember, Thank a Dance Teacher Day 2023 is on May 4th. There are so many great ways to express gratitude to your dance teachers and help shine the spotlight on the benefits of dance education all year long. How are you celebrating Thank a Dance Teacher Day this year? Let us know in the comments!

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