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Registry of Dance Educators


The RDE application program is on-hold while it is undergoing a review.
The mission of the NDEO's Registry of Dance Educators is to establish the highest standards for teaching and learning dance in the United States, and to strengthen the role of the dance educator and the profession of dance in American education, culture, and life.

To this end, NDEO's Registry identifies, recognizes, and promotes highly qualified dance educators through the Registered Dance Educator (RDE) application process.

What is a Registered Dance Educator (RDE)?

An RDE has been through a rigorous performance based, peer reviewed process created by the profession that identifies and nationally recognizes a master teacher in dance.

Becoming an RDE provides evidence that:

  • The teacher has a minimum of ten years of experience teaching in the field of dance
  • The teacher possesses scope and depth of knowledge in dance content and pedagogy described in the Professional Teaching Standards for Dance Arts
  • The teacher adheres to industry standards and the RDE Code of Ethics
  • The teacher meets annual requirements for continuing education and professional development
  • The teacher provides service and leadership at local, state, and/or national levels
  • The teacher serves as a catalyst for change in the field
  • The teacher maintains annual membership in NDEO to stay current in industry standards and practice         

An RDE in dance commands the content, skills, and knowledge in the dance genre(s) they practice. They are constant learners and model best pedagogical practices in teaching and learning dance. RDE's embed dance education in larger domains of knowledge associated with human development, dance science, one’s individual well-being and life-style, and community and culture. RDE's provide leadership at local, state, and/or national levels, and serve as a catalyst for change in the field.

History of the RDE

The National Registry of Dance Education (NRDE) was founded by Elsa Posey, RDE in 1995 to fulfill a need in the private sector – the need to recognize highly qualified dance educators, especially those teaching in the private sector rising to acclaim through the performance track rather than the academic track and who lacked credentials attesting to their master teacher status.

Thus, the NRDE was established to advance the professional dance educator through recognition and accreditation. It was created to award accreditation to dance educators who already had the experience and the knowledge to be great dance educators. Once educators earned the Registered Dance Educator accreditation (RDE) and used it after their name – e.g., Mary Jones, RDE – additional professional opportunities emerged at local, state, and national levels.

For the past twenty years, NDEO has worked closely with the NRDE to provide current RDEs with excellent professional development and continuing education programs and services that RDEs need to retain accreditation; and, at the same time, provide new NRDE applicants with online learning opportunities needed to attain RDE accreditation. The relationship has been so mutually beneficial to dance educators and organizations that Elsa Posey, RDE, upon retirement as NRDE President in 2016, chose to have the NRDE transition to NDEO under programs and services to ensure continued growth and relevance to outstanding dance educators throughout the United States.

For the past two years, NDEO has been working to enhance programs and services of what is now known as “The Registry” for all dance educators who wish to attain the Registered Dance Educator (RDE) accreditation who work in the private sector as well as postsecondary education, PreK-12 education, performing arts organizations, and community/cultural arts education centers. The revised accreditation now aligns with the Master Teacher status defined and accepted for teachers of all disciplines in the United States.

Elsa Posey | Founder of the Registry of Dance Educators

Elsa Posey founded the Posey School of Dance (1953) in Northport, New York with the goal of providing high quality dance education to her hometown community. For fifty-four years, she has delivered innovative and comprehensive ballet programs for beginning through advanced students of all ages. In the last two decades, she has developed integrated arts programming in dance, drama, music, and mixed media arts; and introduced dance notation and dance history into studio curriculum. In the Posey School of Dance she is responsible for program and curriculum development, administration, teacher training, professional development, and faculty supervision. Former students have performed on Broadway, in Hollywood movies and with renowned international ballet companies. Many former dancers teach in public education, university dance programs, and in private schools of dance; and those who haven’t chosen dance as a career, continue to dance for personal and artistic enrichment.

Elsa has dedicated her professional life to dance education research, professional development, national dance standards, and creative dance for early childhood education. She works as an arts educator, writer, and consultant to national and international arts organizations. Her research projects involve current practices in training pre-professional ballet dancers during their training from thirteen to seventeen, and redesigning curriculum to teach ballet to children safely, creatively and correctly.

Elsa has been important to national advocacy in helping define the national agenda for dance education. For a decade, she worked with the Arts Education Partnership (AEP) Task Force committees that culminated in three publications: Research Priorities for Arts Education, Early Childhood Arts Education, and Teacher Training and Professional Development in the Arts.

Elsa Posey was the first elected President of National Dance Education Organization (1998 – 2001), served twelve years on the NDEO Board of Directors as liaison of the National Registry of Dance Educators, and writes for the Journal of Dance Education (JODE) and Dance Education in Practice (DEIP). She is the recipient of the 2006 NDEO Lifetime Achievement award. For decades she served national dance associations including, among others: American Dance guild, Congress in Research in Dance, Dance Critics Association, Dance Notation Bureau, International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, National Dance Association, National Dance Education Organization, and the Society of Dance History Scholars.

List of Current RDE's:

 Abigail F Agresta-Stratton  Jin Hanley
 Kathryn W Austin  Patricia Harms
 Mona Clifford Baker  Kathleen S. Isaac
 Barry Blumenfeld  Michael A Kerr
 Jane Bonbright  Kitty Lunn
 Lori Borrowman  Sonya B Monts
 Lilly Castro  Hilarie Neely
 Patricia Cohen  Sheila Pilc
 Ana Nery Fragoso  Elsa Posey
 Joy L Friedlander  Tori Rogoski
 Lisa Fusillo  Helene Scheff
 Lori Garling  Kim Chandler Vaccaro