Please Wait a Moment

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.


Ask DELRdi! NDEO's Own Reseach Resource

NDEO’s Guest Blog Series features posts written by our members about their experiences in the fields of dance and dance education. We continue this series with a post by Anne Dunkin, DELRdi Coordinator 2004-2024  Guest posts reflect the experiences, opinions, and viewpoints of the author and are printed here with their permission. NDEO does not endorse any business, product, or service mentioned in guest blog posts. If you are interested in learning more about the guest blogger program or submitting an article for consideration, please click here.

For two decades NDEO has provided members with open access to its Dance Education Research and Literature Descriptive Index (DELRdi). However, usage statistics indicate that very few members take advantage of this unique and significant dance education information resource. WHY?

To dismiss any misconceptions, and to reinforce DELRdi's usefulness, this blog describes eight scenarios that bridge all dance education constituencies and might easily impact your teaching and learning in and through dance. A result of DELRdi's more than 9,000 citations, is the fact that you can find quick answers to many questions that arise in your daily dance education practice. The following scenarios are just the tip of the iceberg of what DELRdi can offer.

First, you need to access DELRdi, a benefit for all NDEO members. Sign into the NDEO website. Select "By Program" on the top menu bar; select "Dance Education Research and Descriptive Index (DELRdi)" on the left side menu; then follow all prompts to "Access DELRdi". You will land on the DELRdi Search page. Which looks like this:

Scenario #1

You are a dance educator and you have students who are about to graduate from secondary school. Some have questions about majoring in dance in college. Gather your students around a computer with internet access and sign onto the NDEO website. In the "Title" field type "Dancing After High School". Click "Search" at bottom of the page. A citation listing will appear. Click "View" in the upper right corner. When the full citation appears, Click "Download" found within the citation. You will retrieve a lesson plan that you and your students can explore to gather information pertinent to majoring in dance at college. This introduction to DELRdi not only provides students a dance education specific search engine to use in their academic pursuits, but it also illustrates the fact that dancing in higher education will involve more reading and writing about dance than they may be used to.

Scenario #2

You are a graduate student looking for a thesis topic (or you are a faculty advisor helping students prepare theses). On DELRdi search page select "Thesis" on the "Document Type" dropdown (4th field down on the left). Click "Search". Scanning titles and then "Viewing" citations you wish to explore further informs your quest. However, there are over 1,000 theses cited in DELRdi so you may wish to limit your search. For example if you want work from a certain time period, type specific years in the "Start Year" and "Finish Year" below "Document Type".

Or you might like to see what topics other higher education institutions have approved as subjects. (Note: when moving from one search to another on DELRdi be sure to click "Reset" next to the "Search" button.) This time after selecting "Thesis" go to the "Institution" dropdown just below it and scroll down to find the school(s) you are interested in. DELRdi has documents submitted from over 200 higher education institutions.

Scenario #3

You have a student with scoliosis. The doctor has given permission for the student to study dance, but you would like to know more. On DELRdi Search page, type "scoliosis" in the "General Search" field at the top. "Search". You will retrieve several articles on the topic prepared by members of the dance medicine and science community. There is also an essay written by a teenage girl describing her experience dancing with scoliosis. Her essay is found in "Dance Arts Now" newsletter included in DELRdi.

Scenario #4

You have agreed to help renovate a new studio and wish information about dance floors. Type "dance floors" in the "General Search" field. "Search". You will retrieve several studies from the dance medicine and science community as well as architectural drawings.

Scenario #5

You teach dance in K-12 and wish to integrate dance with science lessons. Type "science" in the "General Search" field. Then select "Lesson Plans" on the "Document Type" dropdown field. "Search". You will retrieve several citations. Also there are two specific collections of dance lesson plans found on the "Special Collection" dropdown at the bottom of the DELRdi Search page.

Scenario #6

You are curious about dance education in other countries outside the United States. Type the name of a country in the "General Search" field. (All documents in DELRdi relate to dance education.) For example, if you type "Iran", you will retrieve 7 citations, "Iceland" will find 2 citations, "China" will receive 61. These documents usually written by practitioners in the country will provide insight regarding dance education in that country and initial information to pursue further.

Scenario #7

You wish to explore teaching dance to people with disabilities. For a general search begin with the five dropdown fields on the right side of the Search page. Select "Differently Abled" on the field titled "Populations Served". If you want a specific age group, select that on that same dropdown. "Search". Or if you want a specific condition, such as autism or Parkinson's disease for example, go directly to the "General Search" field at the top of the Search page, and type the specific condition into the field. For most conditions you will retrieve multiple documents to begin your investigation.

Scenario #8

You are an undergraduate dance education student (or faculty advisor) considering topics for a senior research project. Begin with the five dropdown fields on the right side of the Search page: "Education Issues", "Populations Served", and "Services to the Field". Scrolling those dropdowns, select items of interest to you and see what others have written about those topics. OR you may be interested in considering a specific "Research Method" or "Research Technique". For those scroll through the two dropdown fields on the right side of the DELRdi Search page.

These eight scenarios suggest questions that DELRdi can answer or at least help initiate longer inquiries. Considering the possibilities and the fact that DELRdi may be the ONLY dance education discipline specific archive, why don't more NDEO members use it as a "go to" resource? Why are we not introducing all students across the dance education continuum to DELRdi? We automatically introduce topics like dance standards and assessments as important resources, why not DELRdi? This is a resource for all members of the dance education community not just graduate students and dedicated researchers. Let's use it.

Anne Dunkin was NDEO's DELRdi Coordinator from 2004-2024 and received the 2024 NDEO Executive Director's Award for that service. A life-long dancer/educator, Anne co-directed Qwindo's Window, a dance company that presented dance programs to elementary schools throughout sixteen states over eleven years. Simultaneously she also directed a dance studio in suburban Washington, D.C. and then taught with dance medicine pioneer, Raoul Gelabert in New York City for four years. Moving to California in 1985 she opened a dance studio in Los Angeles and created "First Steps First", a program encouraging private studios to offer creative movement classes for young dancers age three to six years. Subsequently she joined the dance faculty at California State University, Fullerton for ten years. Her articles have appeared in JODE, AEPR, and Dance Teacher Now, and in 2006 Princeton Book Company published her book Dancing in Your School: Guide for Elementary and Pre-School Teachers. How They Became Famous Dancers: A Dancing History for middle school students was published in 2015. Anne's M.A. is in human development education, and her Ph.D. is in dance history and theory from the University of California, Riverside.

Photo Credits: Featured photo by Envato Elements, headshot by Jonathan Cashatt


You need to login in order to comment

Subscribe to our Blog

Submit a Blog Post

To learn more about submitting a Guest Blog post, click here.

Search our Blog

Blog by Date