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Implementing the National Core Arts Standards in Dance

Two female dancers wearing burgundy dresses performing on a stage with a yellow background. Text on the image says "Online Course: Implementing the National Core Are Standards in Dance"

Professor: Susan McGreevy-Nichols and Marty Sprague

Tuition: $520 member / $595 non-member

12 Weeks; 3 NDEO-Endorsed PDCs

May 22 - August 13, 2023

Register Here

NDEO Member Early Access Registration Begins: March 20

Non-Member Registration Begins: March 27

This course delves into the National Core Arts Standards in Dance that were launched in October 2014 as part of a collaborative effort with all the major art forms including dance, music, theater, visual arts and media arts. The dance standards focus on the 4 artistic processes of creating, performing, responding and connecting. We will go in-depth with the standards and learn how to apply the standards in your own classrooms or studios. During this course you will develop curriculum and lesson plans based on the new standards. 

Questions about this Course?  Email

Past Student Testimonials

"This course really helped me as I created new curriculum for my school district. I am able to see a more zoomed out version of the big picture of the new dance program I am creating. I really liked being able to connect with other dance teachers and hear their thoughts on the topics we were learning. I also appreciated all of the rich resources we were provided."

" I have already developed my curriculum for the upcoming school year. I also feel like i have a deeper understanding on what my students should know by the time they leave my classroom which will make them prepared for high school level dance."

"This was an extremely valuable experience! It was very comprehensive and initially I was struck by the time it took me to read, write and complete the assignments. However, I believe that you get out of something, what you put into it. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the process as it has been a long while since I have been this type of student.

"Exploring the standards and concepts such as backward design really has made me think out of the box and has stimulated creativity that may have been bit stagnant before. The course also helped to crystallize the why and the how to do things. These "things" may have been happening before but now I am aware of the foundation and framework necessary. Cannot wait to discover ways to implement and incorporate the standards into curriculum."

"This course was very helpful to me, as I did not know there were standards for this previous to this course. I now know how to access the information in the future, and implement the standards into my lesson plans. I appreciated that the course included educating children and adults with disabilities."

"This course opened my eyes to the fact that our studio could use a new uniform and organized approach to the learning outcomes. Between the content and feedback from both the professors and the other participants, I now have new resources and fresh ideas to take back to my studio."

" I liked sharing with my peers in the discussion board. I loved the ideas I gained from reading their posts. I feel prepared starting the new school year implementing standards in my curriculum."

Professor Bios

Susan McGreevy-Nichols is Executive Director of the National Dance Education Organization and a national arts education consultant. Susan provides professional development in assisting teachers in designing and documenting student work that meets standards and in helping teaching artists understand educational reform efforts and how to make their work in schools more relevant to reform. She coaches districts in Los Angeles County as part of the Arts for All initiative and in Northern California in Alameda County as a part of the county’s initiative Revitalizing Classrooms Through Arts Learning: Strategic Plan. These initiatives provide strategic planning, technical support, curriculum development, assessments, survey development, and data collection. She supports districts in identifying local advocates and strategies for providing equity and access to the arts. Susan founded and directed the dance program at the renowned Roger Williams Middle School in Providence, Rhode Island from 1974-2002. Every student at the school participated in a program that treated dance as a core subject and emphasized the creating, performing and responding processes as they link to the arts and other disciplines. She is the developer of a cutting edge reading comprehension strategy that uses text as inspiration for original choreography created by children. In 1995, Susan was honored as the National Dance Teacher of the Year. Susan co-founded the Professional Development Institute (PDI), a partnership with Rhode Island College that offered teachers the dance education course work needed to obtain state dance certification. She also collaborated on developing and coordinating Alameda County’s Arts Integration Specialist Program (CA). Susan is the co-author of five books: Building Dances(1995), Building More Dances (2001), Experiencing Dance (2004), Dance About Anything (2006) and Exploring Dance Forms and Styles (2010). Susan teaches OPDI-112: Implementing the New National Core Dance Standards, OPDI-M1: Pedagogy - Learning Styles and Theories, OPDI-M3: Assessment Concepts, OPDI-M8: Designing Model Cornerstone Assessments.


Marty Sprague has over 45 years of experience in dance education (early childhood through higher education), holds an MA, in Dance Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a BFA in Dance from Boston Conservatory. Sprague taught dance at Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex High School in Providence, Rhode Island and was an instructor and Clinical Supervisor for Roger Williams University Education Department. She has been involved in program, curriculum, professional, and policy development. She has written and reviewed standards at the district, state and national levels. Marty is co-author, with Helene Scheff and Susan McGreevy-Nichols, of six dance text and resource books (including online content for the textbook). Marty has served on the editorial board for Arts Education Policy Review and JODE. She served on the Dance Writing Team for the NCCAS Dance Standards. Currently, Marty is a course writer and an instructor for NDEO’s OPDI, a Moving For Life Certified Instructor (pending), and is President of Dance Alliance of RI. She has joined the Rhode Island Arts and Health Network Steering Committee to advance the role of Arts in the well-being of all Rhode Islanders. Marty teaches OPDI-112 Implementing the National Core Arts Standards in Dance; OPDI-115: Dance Integration: Re-envisioning the Creative Process; OPDI-M13: Modern Dance Theory and Composition; OPDI-M18: Intro to Choreography in Dance Education: A Process to Teach Students How to Create Dances, and OPDI-M19: Dance Stagecraft and Production.