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Research in Dance Education Project


In 2001, the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) was awarded a 3-year Research Grant for US Dance Education (2001-2004) from the US Department of Education–Office of Education Research and Improvement (OERI).

The Research in Dance Education project proposed to identify patterns, trends, and gaps in research, determine research priorities for dance education and initiate new research, build national/state networks to effect change in policy and practice, and establish Research Centers for Dance Education.

With this grant award, NDEO conducted an extensive research initiative to identify existing research in the field of dance education in its myriad contexts and to learn how research addresses educational issues in the United States such as student achievement, kinesthetic learning/brain research, creative process, integrated arts/interdisciplinary education, multi-cultural infusion, children-at-risk, equity issues, policy, certification and teaching standards, national and state standards, assessments, etc.

NDEO examined the research for patterns, trends, and gaps, determined research priorities for the field, and now sponsors field-initiated research grants (RFPs and commissioned) to stimulate new research in areas found lacking.

A report to the nation, Research Priorities for Dance Education, was published and disseminated in 2004. Recommendations are implemented through extensive national and state networks designed to effectuate changes in policy that impact students and teachers in the classroom. To download the full text of this report and view a summary of the report’s recommendations, click here.

Initially, the Research in Dance Education Database (RDEdb) housed the research identified through this grant. The database continued growing as a compilation of research and dance education documents until 2009 when its name was changed to the Dance Education Literature and Research Descriptive Index (DELRdi). The name was changed to better reflect the contents of the growing index. To access DELRdi, click here.


In 2013, NDEO published Evidence: A Report on the Impact of Dance in the K-12 School Setting, under a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Evidence Report contains summaries and evaluations of recent studies that demonstrate the impact of dance on teaching and learning in the twentieth century. These studies were drawn from a variety of databases, including the Dance Education Literature and Research descriptive index (DELRdi), the Fast Response Survey System (FRSS), and a newly discovered collection of reports from the U.S Department of Education’s Arts-in-Education programs in professional development and model programs. The researchers paid specific particular attention to several areas determined to be under-researched in Research Priorities for Dance Education: A Report to the Nation. To read the full report, click here.

NDEO partners with major universities to establish Research Centers for Dance Education so the important work of these research grants will continue and dance education can eventually become an equal and important art form in US education as mandated in the Goals 2000: Educate America Act. To learn more about the Research Centers, click here.

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Research Priorities