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2017 NDEO Awards and Scholarships
By Susan McGreevy-Nichols
Posted on 3/13/2017 2:40 PM

An important part of NDEO’s mission is to help dance teachers in all sectors advance their careers. One of the ways we do this is by offering awards and scholarships, which recognize outstanding educators and provide opportunities for professional development. In this post, we detail some of the awards and scholarships we will be offering this year:


NDEO Professional Development Scholarships

Since 2015, NDEO has been offering three Professional Development Scholarships annually. These scholarships are funded by the Thank A Dance Teacher Day fundraising campaign. The application for the 2017 Professional Development Scholarships is open through March 15, 2017. Each scholarship recipient is offered one year of complimentary NDEO Professional membership, and the recipient's choice of either:

  • Registration for the 2017 Special Topic Conference, “Men in Dance: Bridging the Gap”

  • Registration for the 2017 Annual National NDEO Conference

  • Tuition for twelve weeks of online learning through NDEO's Online Professional Development Institute (OPDI)

Both current NDEO members and non-members are eligible to apply for a scholarship. The scholarships are designed for the working dance educator who is looking to continue their education so that they can refine and enhance their current teaching practices and advance their career through professional development.

To apply, fill out the online application.  You will need to demonstrate your interest in and need for continuing education, as well as your need for financial assistance to achieve your professional development goals. You will need include your teaching philosophy, plans for applying what you learn in your studio, school, or community, and the name and contact info of a professional reference. Applicants must select which professional development option that they want to be considered for at the start of the application.

Thom Cobb Memorial Scholar

This scholarships honors Thom Cobb, NDEO President from 2013-2016, who passed away unexpectedly in December 2016. Thom will always be remembered for his smiling face and warm welcome while presiding over the Conference 101 session at our National Conferences. He has helped numerous first-time conference attendees navigate their way around conference and ensured that they had a positive and rewarding experience.

For the next three years, thanks to generous donations to the Thom Cobb Memorial Fund, NDEO is proud to announce the Thom Cobb Memorial Scholar.  Selected individual must be a first time conference attendee and a working dance education professional. Preference will be given to current NDEO members. The Thom Cobb Memorial Scholar will receive registration for the 2017 NDEO National Conference in San Antonio, Texas and up to a 4-night stay in the Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk, or registration for the 2017 Men in Dance Conference in West Virginia and three night stay.

To be consider as the Thom Cobb Memorial Scholar, you must be a first time conference attendee and complete the Professional Development Scholarship application (make sure you select the Men in Dance or National Conference option) no later than March 15th.  

If you would like to make a donation to the Thom Cobb Memorial Fund, you may do so here. As the fund grows, NDEO hopes to be able to expand this program and continue it beyond the next three years so we can continue to honor Thom’s memory.

National Awards

Each year, NDEO presents National Awards in four categories at the NDEO National Conference. A dance educator may self-nominate or nominate a friend, colleague, or former teacher. The awardee must have five consecutive years or more of NDEO membership prior to the nomination.  For more information, including full eligibility guidelines, please visit the awards page of our website. Award winners will receive complimentary registration for the NDEO National Conference, where you will be recognized at one of our social events. We are currently accepting applications through April 17th for the following awards:

Lifetime Achievement

The most prestigious award conferred, the Lifetime Achievement Award is given for exemplary leadership, scholarship and/or artistry, and philanthropy or service to dance education.

Outstanding Leadership

This award is given to an individual who has demonstrated excellence in creating ideas for programs, curriculum, and/or projects that have had a significant impact on the field of dance education and who has demonstrated leadership on a national level. Additionally, the recipient of this award should inspire and cultivate vision and leadership in others.

Outstanding Dance Education Researcher

This award recognizes an individual who has made a unique contribution to the field of dance education through creative and/or scholarly research. The recipient of this award should cultivate the importance of scholarly and creative research throughout the field of dance education.

Outstanding Dance Educator

This award acknowledges a stellar dance educator from the membership. The award is granted on a yearly rotating basis to a dance educator from different sectors. This year, we will be awarding the Outstanding Dance Educator - Teaching Artist Award. For the purposes of this award, a teaching artist may be defined as:

1.) A working dance professional (choreographer, performer, artist), who also teaches independently or through a dance company as a guest artist in a variety of settings.

2.) An educator hired by a community-based or performing arts organization as a teaching artist, who leads dance-based classes in schools or community venues on a contract basis.

3.) An educator who works as an independent contractor in more than one setting, which may include studios, universities, community programs, and schools. This artist is not employed full-time in any one setting.

We encourage all of our members to apply for a scholarship or nominate themselves or a colleague for an award. Be sure to stay tuned to NDEO’s blog, forums, emails, and social media for future opportunities for scholarships and recognition. Thank you, as always, for all you do to advance dance education, centered in the arts! 
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