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Currently, in the United States, there are no federal guidelines or agencies that regulate the dance education industry or that issue standardized, rigorous qualifications for dance educators. Various states, colleges, universities and private sector entities offer certifications, credentials, exit exams, and/or degrees, which differ significantly among institutions and states.


Given such inconsistencies, the mission of the NDEO's Registry of Dance Educators is to establish 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, known as master teachers, through the Registered Dance Educator (RDE) Accreditation.  

What is a Master Teacher in Dance? 

Master teachers in dance command 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. Master teachers 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. Master teachers provide leadership at local, state, and/or national levels, and serve as a catalyst for change in the field.

What is Registered Dance Educator (RDE) Accreditation?

RDE accreditation is a rigorous performance based, peer review process created by the profession that identifies and nationally recognizes a master teacher in dance. 

RDE accreditation 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          

Who can apply for the RDE Accreditation? 

RDE accreditation is open to all dance educators teaching in any sector of dance education: private studios, public and independent PreK-12 schools, colleges and universities, community and cultural centers, performing arts organizations, and other diverse environments. It requires ten years of teaching experience and current NDEO membership.

For more on the benefits of becoming a Registered Dance Educator, click here.

Questions on whether the RDE is right for you? Contact