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NHSDA Secondary Program

A Secondary Chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts may be set up in any private or public middle or high school, dance studio/academy, performing arts center, or community center with an active dance program serving students grades 9-12. The institution is required to maintain an NDEO Institutional Membership for as long as the institution conducts an NHSDA Secondary Program. Schools that serve students in both 6-8 and 9-12 grades may have both a Junior and Secondary Chapter, although only one NDEO Institutional Membership is required. The dues may be paid by school administration, a boosters association, or through student fundraising.

A faculty member must be willing to serve as the Chapter Sponsor, but students can take leadership roles in creating and maintaining the chapter. The chapter can be set up as a one-time honor, or as a student organization with officers, regular meetings, and planned activities. There are no NDEO membership requirements for students.


There is a one-time fee associated with the Student Induction. Separate fees apply for the optional NHSDA Pins and Honor Cords. Please consult the NHSDA Junior/Secondary Program Chapter Sponsor Handbook for complete information on starting and maintaining a chapter at your institution.

NHSDA Secondary Program (grades 9 - 12) Goals
  • To promote a desire for life-long learning in the field of dance.
  • To encourage an understanding of, and an appreciation for, dance as an art form and develop knowledgeable audiences for tomorrow.
  • To identify honor students (grades 11 & 12) for nomination to the NHSDA Artistic Merit, Leadership and Academic Achievement Award, one of the highest honor programs for dance in the United States.

Eligibility Criteria for Student Induction

Induction into the NHSDA Secondary Program is earned through the accumulation of at 30 points awarded for dance activities such as dance classes, rehearsals, performances, research, workshops, or community service activities, alongside a minimum GPA of at 3.0. Students should track their points and provide the Chapter Sponsor with a record of points earned through worksheets, portfolios, or other agreed-upon methods. For points earned outside of chapter activities, verification of points earned should be provided to the Chapter Sponsor through playbills, registration forms, photos, or other agreed-upon methods. The Chapter Sponsor will keep a record of points earned on file. In addition, the prospective student's demonstration of collaborative teamwork, motivation, and leadership in the many aspects of dance (e.g., choreography, performance, mentoring, production) are factors in the determination of eligibility for induction. 

GPA Requirement

Students must earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 for NHSDA Induction. NDEO allows for the Chapter Sponsor to implement a higher GPA requirement in order to be consistent with other honor societies at the school – this helps to elevate dance within the school curriculum as a course of study worthy of recognition. For example, if induction into your school’s chapter of the National Honor Society requires a GPA 3.5, you are encouraged to set your NHSDA Chapter’s minimum at the same level, should that feel appropriate for your school culture.

In the case of dance studios and other programs outside of K-12, it is recommended that students turn in a copy of their report card to their Chapter Sponsor showing their cumulative GPA. If a student is homeschooled and bases their grades on a 100 point system, each "point" of their 100 count for .04 of the 4.0 GPA. (for example, if the student's grade is 80 out of 100, their GPA entered on the NHSDA site would be 3.2). If a student is homeschooled and does not participate in point system, a GPA can be established by the parent writing an official letter to the Chapter Sponsor stating that their student has achieved academic excellence.

All GPA records should be maintained by the sponsor or appropriate school personnel and should be handled in a manner that respects the privacy of the student and is in compliance with FERPA regulations.

Student Induction is a lifetime recognition and NHSDA designations remain with the student’s record. Should a student's GPA fall below the Chapter's minimum GPA requirements, there is no penalty or movement to dishonor the student. The faculty advisor and/or Chapter Sponsor are encouraged to work with the student to help the student regain academic rigor. At the Chapter Sponsor’s discretion, inducted students can be barred from Chapter activities, including wearing NHSDA cords at graduation, should concerns arise about conduct or behaviors that might jeopardize their own safety, the well-being of others, or the integrity of NHSDA.

NHSDA Secondary Chapter Sponsor Handbook

The NHSDA Chapter Sponsor Handbook is a must-read for all new chapter sponsors and student officers in charge of NHSDA administration. Download and print it out to help guide you through the process. It reviews in-depth procedures for establishing and managing a chapter, tracking and awarding points and conducting recognition ceremonies as well as all pertinent forms. Click here to view the handbook.


Photo courtesy of Harrison High School Dance Ensemble