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The 22nd Annual National Dance Education Organization Conference

Developing Community, Empathy, and Understanding through Dance

October 23 - 25, 2020
Virtual Conference

Conference Theme

With escalating tensions currently facing our students, dance education can serve not only as a platform to influence kindness within communities and encourage tolerance, but also as a vehicle to teach empathy about and spread awareness of different ideas, cultures, and beliefs. Dance is a universal language that can communicate across cultures, develop a sense of connectedness within a community, and engender empathy in audience members. The art and education of dance has a unique way of developing a well-rounded dancer and overall person who becomes a positive part of society and community. There are many life skills that one develops as they take part in dance, and studying and performing this art form encourages a more global perspective, which fosters increased empathy and understanding of diverse cultures.

Sessions consider the many ways in which the development of community, empathy, and understanding can be approached through dance education. Some questions they may engage with: 
  • What techniques can a dance company use to develop a community-wide understanding and appreciation of dance?
  • How might a choreographer create an understanding and appreciation of dance within their community?
  • As a dance educator, how can an understanding of dance be developed at the school, district, and community level?
  • What methods can a dance company, studio, choreographer, or educator use to promote community involvement in dance?
  • How might a dance company, studio, choreographer, or educator foster empathy for a particular culture or idea through dance?
  • What teaching strategies or techniques might be used to generate empathy among students for a cultural group or idea?
  • In what ways can dance educators create a sense of empathy among their students for each other?

What to Expect at Conference

Held annually in the fall, a typical NDEO National Conference includes three full days of over 250 workshops, master classes, panel and paper presentations, social events and performances. A full day of pre-conference intensives precedes the official start of conference. The full conference schedule is generally released online over the summer before that year's conference.

Conference 2020 Schedule of Events


Due to the covid-19 pandemic, NDEO has made the difficult decision to go virtual with the 2020 National Conference. As such, conference will look a little different this year.

Friday 10/23 Saturday 10/24 Sunday 10/25
10:00 AM "Early Bird Warm Ups" (movement sessions)
11:00 AM - 2:30 PM Session Blocks
2:30 - 3:30 PM Break, Performances, Time to Visit Vendors & View Poster Presentations
3:30 - 7:00 PM Session Blocks
after 7:00 PM Evening Events
For any questions, please call 301-585-2880 or email