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What is the DELRdi?

The Dance Education Literature and Research descriptive index (DELRdi) is an index of literature and research from 1926 to the present that informs teaching, learning, and future directions of research in the field of dance education. It contains extensive descriptions of several thousand literary works including theses, dissertations, journal articles, conference proceedings and other documents from over 200+ different publications, more than 150 university dance programs, many organizations, government agencies, and individuals. In addition to providing basic citation information, the DELRdi provides detailed descriptive information on the methodology, techniques, and characteristics of the literature documented in the index. Full text of a document is included when permission is granted by the copyright holder. The DELRdi is the culminating product of a three-year research project supported by the United States Department of Education (2001-2004). There are multiple ways to search the index:

What does DELRdi do?

  • Provides a body of knowledge for dance education
  • Targets whatever impacts teaching and learning in or through dance
  • Provides a history about dance education and the educational process
  • Defines methodologies of research and research techniques
  • Presents a description of the document, an abstract, or full text when copyright permission is granted
  • Informs the user where to locate and access the original document

What can DELRdi do for YOU?

  • Offers researchers a showcase for their work
  • Targets issues in your dance education research
  • Provides a concentrated collection of Dance Education research and literature
  • Presents the work of leading dance educators in the field
  • Broadens the perspective of researchers in other fields that write about dance education
  • Offers hours of fun and amusement to view the work of people you know or topics of interest


2001 - 2004

In 2001, the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) was awarded a 3-year Research Grant for US Dance Education (2001-2004) from the US Department of Education–Office of Education Research and Improvement (OERI). The Research in Dance Education project proposed to identify patterns, trends, and gaps in research, determine research priorities for dance education and initiate new research, build national/state networks to effect change in policy and practice, and establish Research Centers for Dance Education.

With this grant award, NDEO conducted an extensive research initiative to identify existing research in the field of dance education in its myriad contexts and to learn how research addresses educational issues in the United States such as student achievement, kinesthetic learning/brain research, creative process, integrated arts/interdisciplinary education, multi-cultural infusion, children-at-risk, equity issues, policy, certification and teaching standards, national and state standards, assessments, etc. NDEO examined the research for patterns, trends, and gaps, determined research priorities for the field, and now sponsors field-initiated research grants (RFPs and commissioned) to stimulate new research in areas found lacking.

A report to the nation, Research Priorities for Dance Education, was published and disseminated in 2004. Recommendations are implemented through extensive national and state networks designed to effectuate changes in policy that impact students and teachers in the classroom. Click Here to Learn More about Research Priorities for Dance Education report.


This new database comes to life with all the 2,500+ documents identified during the original 3 year period, initially called the Research in Dance Education Database (RDEdb).  New documents were continually added.


Initially, the Research in Dance Education Database (RDEdb) housed the research identified through this grant. The database continued growing as a compilation of research and dance education documents until 2009 when its name was changed to the Dance Education Literature and Research Descriptive Index (DELRdi). The name was changed to better reflect the contents of the growing index. 

2022 - 2023

In late 2022 / early 2023, the DELRdi underwent an upgrade to include new search criteria, search fields, and the implementation of a Live Grid. The Grid provides statistical data for the total number of documents in the DELRdi for each of the five drop-down categories on the right side of the search page. We call it a “live” grid because tallies continually grow and change as new data are entered into the DELRdi database. The purpose of the Grid is to reveal patterns, trends, and gaps that exist in dance education research and literature.  As of April 2023, the DELRdi provides citations on 8,971 documents.

National Dance Education Organization (NDEO)

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