Skip to main content
HomeBill of Rights in Dance, Early Childhood


The Child's Bill of Rights in Dance


© 1998 National Dance Education Organization

The National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) believes that every American child should have the following rights to instruction in dance and urges that these rights be recognized and guaranteed by educational funding authorities, school administrators, and the public.

1. As their right, all children at every level must have access to a balanced, comprehensive, and sequential program of dance instruction taught by teachers qualified in dance.

2. As their right, all children must be given the opportunity to explore and develop their movement abilities to the fullest extent possible through instruction that is equal to that provided in the other basic subjects of the curriculum and through instruction that is responsive to the individual needs of each child.

3. As their right, all children must receive the finest possible education in dance. Every child must have an equal opportunity to study dance and the quality and quantity of children’s dance instruction must not depend upon their geographical location, social status, racial or ethnic background, urban/suburban/rural residence or parental or community wealth.

4. As their right, all children must have equal opportunity to study dance taught as an art form—to create dance, to perform dance, and to respond critically and analytically to the creation and performance of dance by self and others.

5. As their right, all children must have the opportunity to study dance of diverse periods, styles, forms and cultures, including samples of the dances of the world and dance that reflects the multidimensional nature of our pluralistic American culture.

6. As their right, all children must have the opportunity to develop their abilities to analyze dance with discrimination, to understand the historical and cultural backgrounds of the dance they encounter, to make relevant critical judgments about dance and performances, and to deal with aesthetic issues relevant to dance.

7. As their right, all children must have the right to grow in dance knowledge, skills, and appreciations so as to bring joy and satisfaction to their lives, challenge their minds, stimulate their imaginations, and exalt their spirits.

JBonbright, 1998

[Revised in collaboration with Music Educators National Conference (MENC) modeled after the Child’s Bill of Right in Music] 





Back to Philosophy