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NDEO Certificate in Dance EducationOPDI

Get Started on the Path to Earning the Certificate in Dance Education -- Register for an Upcoming Fall 2021 Course!

The Certificate in Dance Education (CiDE) supports all dance educators working in diverse teaching environments, enhances credentials, and attests to a well-rounded training experience, all of which inevitably benefit the students of the dance educator who earns a Certificate in Dance Education. The Certificate in Dance Education (CiDE) is conferred on a candidate who successfully completes 33 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) of OPDI™ coursework.

Collage of many round photos of dance teachers and students

  • To earn 33 CEUs a student would need to successfully complete between 11 and 17 OPDI courses. 
  • Each time a student successfully completes a course, they earn NDEO-endorsed CEUs.
  • 12-week courses = 3 NDEO-endorsed CEUs
  •  8-week courses = 2 NDEO-endorsed CEUs
  •  6 week courses = 1.5 NDEO-endorsed CEUs
  •  4-week courses = 1 NDEO-endorsed CEU
  • To date, 38 online courses have been developed.  
  • There are 8 to 10 courses offered per semester. There are three semesters a year - Spring, Summer, and Fall. 
  • Tuition per course ranges from $200 to $520 depending on length of course and CEUs awarded. 

"All successfully completed OPDI courses count toward the Certificate in Dance Education (CiDE) allowing the student to craft a study plan that meets their professional development and career goals."

  • Students can take a few courses based on what interests them or what they need for professional development, or they can continue taking courses until they earn the full CiDE. 
  • You can begin your journey towards a CiDE in any semester with any course.
  • You can take one course a semester or more – it is up to you to decide how many courses you can complete in a semester. You can declare your intention to pursue the CiDE after you have completed 9 CEUs.
  • If after one or two courses, you decide that online learning is not for you, there is no commitment to continue taking OPDI courses.

"Earning a CiDE will help you become a better dance educator and enhance your credentials and resume, but it does not guarantee you a certain job, position, or promotion. It is up to the student to confirm with their school, district, state, or employer what they will or will not accept as proof of professional development."

  • It is up to the student to confirm with their district / state as to what is required to be "certified" to teach in that state's public K-12 school system. Requirements vary widely by state. Earning the CiDE will enhance your credentials and skills but does not directly certify you to teach in a public K-12 school.

Declaring a CiDE

After the successful completion of the first nine CEUs of OPDI course work, the student who wants to earn a CiDE must declare their intention to pursue the CiDE. The student is assigned a mentor from the OPDI professional staff so they can jointly develop a 33-unit program of study that addresses the student’s future needs based on prior training and experience. The time in which a CiDE can be completed depends on the student’s work schedule and availability. Upon successful completion of the CiDE, the office issues an NDEO-endorsed Certificate in Dance Education.

Why pursue the Certificate in Dance Education?

The CiDE supports all dance educators working in diverse teaching environments such as PreK-12, colleges and universities, private studios and schools of dance, performing arts organizations (PAOs), and community/cultural centers.

  1. The CiDE promotes lifelong learning. Regardless of the environment in which one teaches, lifelong learning is essential. Ninety percent of teachers do not receive the professional development they want or need due to lack of opportunity, inaccessibility, and financial cost. OPDI is accessible and affordable and provides 24/7 asynchronous learning opportunities for all dance educators regardless of their professional status or geographic location.
  2. The CiDE may support K-12 state certification. Depending on the local education agency (LEA), the CiDE may enable the certified K-12 teacher to: (a) earn an endorsement in dance beyond their K-12 state certification; (b) attain highly qualified teacher (HQT) status; (c) earn pay raises; and (d) provide CEUs to retain state certification.
  3. The CiDE enhances credentialing for the private studio teacher. The private school or studio teacher uses the CiDE to: (a) display a credential in their studio to support teacher competency; (b) earn CEUs to attain or retain the Registered Dance Educator’s credential (RDE) conferred by the National Registry of Dance Educators; and (c) show evidence of lifelong learning in dance.
  4. The CiDE attests to a well-rounded training experience. Teachers of dance need to show evidence of possessing a strong, well-rounded background in dance in pedagogy, history, research, learning theory, and disabilities education beyond their specialty genre technique. This is especially true for private sector educators teaching in studios, performing arts organizations, and community or cultural centers.
  5. The CiDE enables the Teaching Artist to acquire specialized training in dance arts education. Special courses guide the teaching artist through pedagogy, theory, and practicum to become “highly qualified” as a Teaching Artist. NDEO offers a certification in this track.

CiDE Costs and Requirements

  • As with all OPDI students, CiDE students must be accepted into OPDI and be current NDEO members.
  • All courses require a minimum of 6-8 hours/week of study to fulfill course requirements – complete required readings, execute and post required assignments, share work with other classmates, and make, view, and critique videos.
  • OPDI 3 unit courses cost $520 (12 weeks); 1.5 unit courses cost $295 (6 weeks); 1 unit courses cost $200 (4 weeks).
    • NDEO CiDE (33 units) = approx. $5,500 - $6,200 over 3-5 years

FAQs: National/International K-12 Education and the CiDE

To teach in U.S. public K-12 education, the dance teacher must have an undergraduate degree, preferably a major or minor in dance, take all required credits in education theory and practicum mandated by the local education agency (LEA), and pass a teacher’s exam to obtain a K-12 state dance certification license or credential. Assuming the OPDI dance educator is already certified by the state to teach in K-12 schools, the dance educator must check with his/her LEA to find out what evidence that LEA requires for continuing education units, endorsements, pay raises, HQT status, etc. Many LEAs accept NDEO endorsed CEUs. The NDEO CiDE does not constitute nor replace state dance certification.

If you teach internationally, NDEO advises that you check with your institution and its administrative services to learn what evidence that country requires to prove teacher competency. Requirements differ between countries just as requirements differ between the US 15,000+ school districts. Only your institution and country administrative offices can provide that information.

In either case, whether you teach in the U.S. or internationally, bring clear and full documentation on the rigor, scope and depth of the NDEO as an organization, the OPDI, and the CiDE program to share with your administration. To do this, download the CiDE course descriptions and credential requirements. Plan on leaving the documentation behind so decision makers can study the information on their own timeline, use it to validate a decision, and reference it later. More often than not, the reputation and integrity of NDEO, the OPDI, and the CiDE program constitute approval in U.S. and international education.

If you have any questions about NDEO's Certificate in Dance Education, please email

Ready to start earning your NDEO Certificate in Dance Education?