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Behind the Curtain

Decade of Dance Education: Year 3
By Susan McGreevy-Nichols
Posted on 1/16/2017 5:36 PM

This month, NDEO is celebrating the beginning of the third year of the Decade of Dance Education, a ten-year campaign designed to raise the profile of dance education centered in the arts, while simultaneously ensuring the growth and development of NDEO for years to come. In 2016, year two of the campaign saw many exciting changes for the organization. We launched new initiatives and revamped some of our signature programs. We introduced a new website and induction system for the National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA), new courses in our Online Professional Development Institute (OPDI), a print ad campaign in major trade publications, our first ever Membership Drive, and two successful Special Topics Conferences - K-12 Standards in Action (CA), and Jazz Dance: Roots and Branches in Practice (RI). Year three promises to bring more positive growth and change for the organization, as we continue to work to best support and advance the field of dance education.

What can you look forward to in 2017?

NDEO will continue to fulfill our mission of advancing dance education in the arts through research, advocacy, leadership, and professional development for dance teachers. We will also provide the highest quality member services, and opportunities for our members to engage with the organization.


NDEO will continue to offer access to the latest in dance education research in our two quarterly publications, Journal of Dance Education and Dance Education in Practice. We encourage our members to submit their original research, both scholarly and practice-based, to these publications.

JODE is currently seeking submissions for a special issue, Jazz Dance in All It’s Manifestations. The deadline for this call is January 15, 2017, and more information can be found at

The Dance Education Literature and Research descriptive index (DELRdi), NDEO’s research database, continues to grow its collection of theses, dissertations, curricula, lesson plans, and classroom resources. All NDEO members have access to the DELRdi, and will find it helpful for research projects and lesson planning. If you have materials you would like to submit, please contact Anne Dunkin (

If you are looking for an opportunity to share your research in-person, consider submitting a proposal to present at one of our upcoming conferences. The deadline to submit a proposal for the Annual National Conference is February 1, 2017. You can also submit a proposal to present at this year’s Special Topic Conference, Men in Dance: Bridging the Gap. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2017.

Professional Development

In-person conferences are just one of the many forms of Professional Development offered by NDEO. This year’s National Conference will be held in San Antonio, TX, from Sunday November 12 - Tuesday November 14 (with pre-Conference intensives on Saturday, November 11). The Conference, with this year’s  theme of “Cultivating Equity and Access: Dance Education for All,” is not the be missed! Registration will open in early April - register early to get the best rates on both the Conference registration fees and your hotel stay!

Dance educators of all genders are invited to join NDEO for the 2017 Special Topic Conference, Men in Dance: Bridging the Gap. This conference will explore issues related to teaching boys and men, and will be held from Thursday, June 29 through Saturday, July 1 at the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts.

If online professional development is more your style, NDEO offers high quality online courses taught by some of the most respected educators in the field. This spring we are offering two NEW courses, “Exploring Dance Education History, Legacy, and Literacy through DELRdi”, and “Jazz Dance Theory and Practice," Another new course, "Modern Dance Theory and Composition," will be offered in the summer. More information, including the full course catalogue and spring schedule, are available at


NDEO is committed to advocating for dance education at the national level. By partnering with organizations like the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards and Americans for the Arts, we ensure that dance education has a “seat at the table” in the national dialogue around arts and education. Helping our members advocate in the local communities is another important aspect of our mission, especially during the Decade of Dance Education.

The National Honor Society for Dance Arts offers your school, studio, or university a unique opportunity to advocate for your dance program and award your students. Establishing a chapter at your studio, school, or university, allows you to recognize your students for their academic achievement, artistic merit, and leadership. You will have special opportunities to acknowledge the good work of your students and promote your program through participation in NHSDA. New chapter applications are accepted on a rolling basis, visit our new NHSDA website at for more information!

The NDEO Artistic Merit, Leadership and Academic Achievement Award offers you a chance to further recognize your NHSDA Inductees who excel in all three areas. High school Juniors and Seniors can apply for the Award, which is one of the highest honors bestowed upon dance students. This year’s National Winner will receive a $1000 scholarship, and will be recognized at our 2017 National Conference in San Antonio. The application is due on February 24, 2017.  

Each year, NDEO accepts nominations for our Awards & Scholarships. These honors help us advocate for dance education by acknowledging dance education professionals with extraordinary contributions in Teaching, Research, Leadership, and Lifetime Achievement. The nomination period will be open from March 1 - April 17. You can nominate a colleague or yourself!  

Leadership and Engagement Opportunities

In addition to Awards, NDEO give back to the field of dance education by offering annual Professional Development Scholarships. These scholarships are offered to deserving dance educators with financial need. Members and non-members may apply. The scholarship provides a year of NDEO Membership and either 12 weeks of learning in the OPDI program or registration for the National Conference. The applications for this year’s scholarships will be open from February 1 through March 15.

Providing opportunities for our members to take leadership roles in the organization and in the field is another important way that NDEO seeks to advance dance education centered in the arts. Members can serve on our Board of Directors, helping to shape the future of the organization and providing valuable services such as assisting with awards, digital communication, or fundraising. You can nominate a colleague or yourself to serve during the nomination period from April 1st to May 15th.

Later this year, we will be announcing some exciting new programs designed to help our members to engage with one another and serve the organization. Check your email and the NDEO Facebook page for announcements. Throughout the Decade of Dance Education, we will continue to help our members advance their careers by providing access to networking, mentorship, and leadership opportunities.

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