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About the National Honor Society for Dance Arts™

The National Honor Society for Dance Arts™ (NHSDA) is a program of the National Dance Education Organization. It is one of the most exciting benefits that NDEO offers its Institutional Members. The Secondary Program (grades 9-12) was implemented in 2005. The Collegiate Program was implemented in 2012, and a Junior Program (grades 6-8) was separated from the Secondary Program and officially launched in 2016. To date, there are over 1,000 chapters in the US and over 35,000 students have been inducted in the past few years.

The National Honor Society for Dance Arts is run on an institutional basis. Chapters at the Junior, Secondary, and Collegiate level are set up at individual schools, and only students who are enrolled at that school may apply for induction.  Individual students, not enrolled at a school that hosts a current NHSDA Chapter, are not eligible for induction. 


  1. To recognize outstanding artistic merit, leadership, and academic achievement in students studying dance in public and private schools in K-12 education, dance studios, cultural/community centers, performing arts organizations, and post-secondary education.
  2. To foster an appreciation for dance as a true art form and one worthy of recognition and prestige.

Establishing an NHSDA chapter in your school is one very important way that you can help advance the field of dance education. Celebrating the artistic merit, leadership, and academic achievements of exceptional dance students helps to create honor and prestige within our field and improve our image to those outside the field, and offers benefits for students, institutions, and the field at large.

Student Benefits

  1. Recognition of their artistic merit, academic achievement, and leadership throughout their educational experience (Junior High – Collegiate).
  2. Certificates at each level of induction, opportunity to receive the gold Honor Pin and wear the blue and white Honor Cord and/or Medallion at graduation.
  3. Mentorship from Chapter Sponsor and networking with peers.
  4. Leadership and development opportunities within their NHSDA Chapter, as they can assist the Chapter Sponsor with Chapter administration, record keeping, fundraising, and event planning.

Institutional Benefits

  • Establishing an NHSDA Chapter allows you to recognize your outstanding students for their artistic merit, leadership, and academic achievement, creating parity with other academic disciplines who sponsor honor societies.
  • Your institution will be listed on the NHSDA website, allowing for additional promotion of your program internationally.
  • NHSDA can serve as a recruitment tool, attracting students who are familiar with NHSDA from other high school programs or other local studios.

Benefit for the Field of Dance Arts Education

By recognizing outstanding dance students nationwide for their artistic merit, leadership, and academic achievement and providing institutions with a way to promote their dance programs, NHSDA helps to advance the field of dance education centered in the arts.

NHSDA is based on the Thespians honor society, and NDEO acknowledges their generosity in allowing dance to follow the lead of theatre arts education.

Photo by Aaron Brewer Photography and Hot Springs Dance Troupe from HSSD 7-12 Dance Program