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Ruth Lovell Murray Book Award

The National Dance Education Organization is pleased to invite nominations for the NDEO Ruth Lovell Murray Book Award, honoring outstanding book-length publications in dance education and recognizing authors who conduct exemplary inquiry that advances the field. In recognition of Ruth Lovell Murray (1900-1991), a pioneer in the field of dance education, the annual award honors books published in the English language during 2023 and 2024. The Ruth Lovell Murray Book Award, NDEO’s inaugural book recognition honor, contributes significantly to the visibility of dance education professionals and their work, as well as the vitality of outstanding scholarship and publication excellence in dance education.

Deadline to Submit: February 19, 2024

Click Here to Apply 


In the spirit of Murray’s achievements and legacy, eligible books for nomination should comprise research-informed texts that encompass a range of theoretical and practical application of knowledge in dance education, teaching, pedagogy, curriculum, and artistic praxis. Examples of eligible dance education texts comprise:

  • Inquiry-based monographs (sole author or multiple authors),
  • Innovative teaching texts (author/co-authors, editor/co-editors or contributing authors)
  • Original edited volumes and collections, and multiple-contributor volumes that address numerous and complex facets of dance education. (editor or co-editors)

Books consisting of previously published essays, reviews, or articles are ineligible.


Authors, editors, and contributing authors may self-nominate or may be nominated from NDEO members in the field. In order to be nominated, books must have been published in the current or previous year. Nominated books that do not receive the Ruth Lovell Murray Book Award may be re-nominated once within the designated time schedule. Author nominees are responsible for securing copies of their book for reviewers (e-books are accepted) and send them directly to review committee members. Most publishers provide gratis copies when a book is under consideration for a national or international award. Self-nominations from author(s), editor(s), and publisher are welcome, as well as nominations by NDEO members in good standing.

You will be asked to answer the following question: Does the book address diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or access issues?

Please use this guide to inform your response and learn more about NDEO's working definitions of JDEI terms.


Books will be evaluated based on originality, critical rigor, innovation and potential contribution to the field of dance education including texts that engage, challenge, and motivate dance educators across sectors and populations. Click here to see the evaluation process.

There will be three rounds of evaluation:

Round 1: 1/19/2024-2/19/2024

After initial submission, the review committee will determine if the nominations are eligible to move forward based on this review criteria

Round 2: 3/11/2024-3/25/2024

During this round, reviewers may ask for additional information from you including but not limited to a formal recommendation letter. If requested, you would need to submit you letters of reccomendation and any supplemental materials by March 25th to be considered for final review. 

Round 3: 4/1/2024-6/1/2024

The review committee will thoroughly read each nominated book using this rubric to determine eligibility. 

Submission Information

Please briefly describe why you are nominating the book. Include relevant information to support the nomination, including your relationship to the candidate. In the subject line, enter “Ruth Lovell Murray Book Award Nomination.”

Nominated authors will be responsible for providing a copy of the book (e-books preferred) for each review committee member. Nominated authors are strongly encouraged to contact their publisher for assistance in securing and providing book access for all reviewers. NOTE:  Do not send books to the NDEO national office.

Past Winners

2023: Doug Risner, Beccy Watson: Masculinity, Instersectionality and Identity: Why Boys (Don't) Dance

2023: Elizabeth McPherson: Milestones in Dance in the USA

2023 Petra Kuppers: Honorable Mention: Ecco Soma

2022: Lindsay Guarino, Carlos R.A. Jones, Wendy Oliver: Rooted Jazz Dance: Africanist Aesthetics and Equity in the Twenty-First Century

2022 Honorable Mention: Tamara Williams: Giving Life to Movement: The Silvestre Dance Technique

2021: Susan Koff: Dance Education - a Redefinition
2021: Doug Risner and Karen Schupp: Ethical Dilemmas in Dance Education - Case Studies on Humanizing Dance Pedagogy