If you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or our online forums, you know that July is membership month here at NDEO! As we shift from the relaxation of summer break into the excitement of the back to school season, we celebrate the important role that our members play in NDEO. Quite simply, we wouldn’t be here without you! NDEO is truly an organization “Of the Members, By the Members, and For the Members,” and it is only through your continued involvement and support that our work in research, advocacy, and professional development for dance teachers is made possible. All month, we have been focusing on the importance of membership - both the benefits and services you receive as a member, and the impact of our work together in the field of dance arts education.
As part of the celebration, we asked our current members to share their membership experience with us. Here is just a small sample of the reasons why #NDEOMembershipMatters to dance educators like you!
Community, Support, and Networking….
#NDEOMembershipMatters because …. NDEO is more than an organization. It is a community. It is a place to build friendships, connect to researchers and practitioners in the field, and discover the broad impact of dance all over the country. The benefits move beyond an annual conference and include professional development, resources for in class and studio application, and mentorship.
-Kelly Lester, Associate Professor, University of Southern Mississippi, Member since 2004
#NDEOMembershipMatters because …. Membership adds an official stamp to a club in which we already belong, that of our extensive dance education community. The NDEO community is inclusive, interested, warm and motivated. NDEO has allowed me to present research and gain feedback, validating the work through this process. Being a member has incited in me the desire to do more, as an advocate, educator, colleague and mentor. My career has been impacted the most through the ever-increasing network of members, creating alliances, sharing information and celebrating the diverse accomplishments of our field!
- Daniel Gwirtzman, Director, Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company in NY, Member Since 2014
#NDEOMembershipMatters because …. I can turn to the NDEO Online Forums when I need to communicate with a fellow dance educator. They are important vehicles for sharing knowledge and making connections. We are very isolated as dance educators. We may be the only one in a whole school or district. On the forums and at the Conferences, there mutual respect among educators working in different environments, and I appreciate that.
- Karen Keubler, Dance Educator, Baltimore County Public Schools in MD, Member Since 1999
Research, Resources, and Standards ….
#NDEOMembershipMatters because ….. It is a direct link to the resources that exist in the field that impact the work that i do. If NDEO does not have a report on a particular topic, there is a member who is knowledgeable about it. The Conference, membership forums, and special reports/white papers keep me informed about the current status of dance education.
- Stephanie Milling, Associate Chair, University of South Carolina, Member since 2004
#NDEOMembershipMatters because …. NDEO has given us the actual data, the wording, the standards, and the language of how to speak about dance in a way that validates dance for our community and stakeholders. It’s more in depth language then, ‘Take a dance class because it’s fun and will teach you confidence.’ Dance is so much more than that. We are able to tell our community that dance helps with problem solving skills, creativity, promotes social-emotional skills, health and well-being and activates crucial areas in the brain. NDEO is our dance advocate!
- Ambre Emory-Maier, Director of Education, BalletMet Columbus in OH, Member since 2004
#NDEOMembershipMatters because ….. Working at a Research 1 University, you are expected to conduct and disseminate research. The Journal of Dance Education and Dance Education in Practice provide members with a place to publish in peer reviewed publications and establish themselves in the field. It lends academic credibility to dance, and gives dance education a place at the scholarship table with other academic disciplines.
- Jeanne Fornarola, NY, Member Since 2001
Conferences, Classes, and Career Advancement ….
#NDEOMembershipMatters because …. Through the OPDI program I earned a Certificate in Dance Education, which gave me the opportunity to study dance pedagogy intensively, even after completing my PhD! The benefits are far-reaching, it’s a good value for the money!
- Kathleen Klein, Chair of Dance Department, Palm Beach Atlantic University in FL, Member Since 2011
#NDEOMembershipMatters because …. It is a great "connector" of ideas and people that cross boundaries of time and space. The conferences are my favorite part of NDEO. I always see many old friend, colleagues, and former students as well as make new contacts. The sessions are stimulating and send be back to my own teaching with enthusiasm and passion for initiating change.
- Elizabeth McPherson Associate Professor, Montclair State University in NJ, Member Since 2009
#NDEOMembershipMatters because …. Being a dance educator can be isolating and through conferences, you can renew relationships with colleagues and form new relationships. NDEO helps build our community. My participation in NDEO is respected by my administration, and being an NDEO member adds weight to my professional status.
- Sandra Stratton-Gonzalez, Dance Educator, The Children's School and Hofstra University in NY, Member Since 2003
Honor Society and Student Benefits ….
#NDEOMembershipMatters because …. The member resources are phenomenal, and someone is always available to listen and respond. The discussions in the Online Forums keep me connected, and The National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NSHDA) inspires my students to work beyond mere performance and toward world connection
- Diane Guida, K-12 Dance Educator in NY, Member Since 1999
#NDEOMembershipMatters because …. There are benefits for dance education students as well as working dance professionals. My teaching methods students are required to join NDEO, so that they can have access to the standards and journals as class materials. They are also required to contribute to the NDEO forums four times a semester, so that they can be connect with others in the field. These resources are helpful to my students, particularly for research papers and literature reviews.
- Sandra Perez, Associate Professor, Towson University in MD,
Member Since 2001
#NDEOMembershipMatters because ….. Establishing a chapter of NHSDA has given me the opportunity to acknowledge the dedication and love of my students for the art of dance. Their induction has given them a sense of pride in their accomplishment and has opened the door for new learning experiences.
- Joanna Furman-Markowitz, Director of Dance, Orange County School of Dance in NJ, Member since 2013
Advocacy and Advancing Dance Education Nationwide ...
#NDEOMembershipMatters because...NDEO is the single best way to advance teaching and learning practices in dance and to contribute to advocating for what you believe in: quality dance education in the US at all levels.
- Miriam Giguere, Drexel University Department Head in PA, Performing Arts, Member Since 2005
#NDEOMembershipMatters because … When I attended the state conference in California last year I was so impressed at the amount of outreach that NDEO and state affiliate CDEA provide to all types of dances across the state. Their efforts on behalf of getting the California credentialing bill for teachers passed was awesome!
- Max Schafer, Dance Teacher at Fenton Primary School in CA, Member since 2016
#NDEOMembershipMatters because …. I love going to the yearly conferences and getting new ideas to take home to the studio and classroom, and I love making connections with colleagues who share my interests and concerns in the dance education world. I use the NDEO Dance Standards in my pedagogy class, and many of the authors whose books I use in that course and others also attend the conference. NDEO is a strong advocate for dance in Washington, D.C. and around the country.
- Wendy Oliver, Professor of Dance, Providence College, Member since NDEO inception
Why do you believe in NDEO Membership? Tell us in the comments below, and we may feature your testimony on our social media accounts!
#NDEOMembershipMatters and the July Membership Drive are programs of the
Decade of Dance Education (2015-2025).