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The Decade of Dance Education (2015-2025) is 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. The mission of this campaign is to raise the awareness and funds needed to build and sustain NDEO in our next era of growth, so that we can best support and advance the field.
During the Decade of Dance Education, NDEO invested in both staff and programming. These investments will help elevate the organization’s profile nationally, and provide the best possible membership experience. Here is just a small sample of the investments we’ve made:


  • Launched a new program of Special Topic Conferences to bring together dance educational professionals with special interests including the Dance 2050 movement for Higher Education, Teacher Evaluation (2014), NCAS Standards in Dance (2015), Jazz Dance (2016), and Men in Dance (2017). These conferences serve as both an opportunity for professional development and a think-tank for advancing the field. 
  • Created the #NDEOThankADanceTeacher Day social media fundraising campaign and the Professional Development Scholarship Program. These programs allow us to spread awareness of NDEO on social media, and give back to the dance education community by offering a one-year complimentary NDEO membership and registration to NDEO Conference or OPDI Courses to scholarship recipients.


  • Launched the Professional Development Scholarship Program, allowing NDEO to give back to the dance education community. Scholarship recipients are offered a one-year complimentary NDEO membership and registration to NDEO Conference or OPDI Courses.
  • Introduced our newest journal, Dance Education in Practice, to provide our members with the latest practical dance education research: ideas for curriculum development, lesson planning, assessment, studio management, and more.
  • Revamped the NDEO Website, to raise the profile of our organization and provide easier navigation and access to our programs and services.
  • Revamped the Board of Directors, to provide more opportunities for NDEO members to take a leadership role in the organization.


  • Launched a new website and induction system for the National Honor Society for Dance Arts, raising the profile of NHSDA nationally and providing more efficient customer service.
  • Launched the #NDEOMembershipMatters campaign, to raise awareness of the benefits of membership. This included our first Membership Drive, to grow our membership base and reward current members who refer friends and colleagues to join NDEO.
  • Launched a print ad campaign in Dance Teacher Magazine and Dance Studio Life Magazine to bring awareness to the important role that dance teachers play in shaping the lives of their students. This campaign highlights the theme of the Decade of Dance Education, “It All Starts with a Dance Teacher!”
  • Increased our social media presence for NDEO on Facebook and Twitter, and for NHSDA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Developed a new Applied Strategic Plan for NDEO designating Priorities for Dance Education, which is based on three main tenets - Connect the Field, Build Kteachingnowledge, and Cultivate Leadership.
The theme of the Decade of Dance Education is “It All Starts with a Dance Teacher!”. Through this theme, NDEO recognize you, the dance educator, for the enormous impact you have on your students’ lives. Professional dancers and former dance students credit their dance teachers for imparting 21st century skills, habits of mind, and college and career skills through their dance education. As a dance educator, you have a real and lasting impact on their students, and NDEO is committed to supporting you through the Decade of Dance Education and beyond.

We hope that you will join us in our effort to raise the profile of NDEO and the field of dance education centered in the arts by participating in the Decade of Dance Education. If you are not yet a member of NDEO, join us and experience the member benefits and community! Then, help us spread the word by sharing your story on social media using the hashtag #ItAllStartsWithADanceTeacher and tagging NDEO. Donate to one of our fundraising campaigns: The Thank A Dance Teacher Fund, which supports our scholarship programs, or the NDEO Works Fund, which supports all of NDEO’s programs and services. Invite a friend or colleague to join during our Membership Drive (or at any time!). Lend your voice to dance education research by submitting an article to Dance Education in Practice or the Journal of Dance Education. Start a Chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts at your school or studio, to recognize your students for their artistic merit, leadership, and academic achievement. Run for a Board of Directors position, or nominate a colleague for one of our National Awards. Take advantage of our professional development programs by taking an OPDI online course, or attending our national or regional conferences. With your help, we will advance dance education centered in the arts!
Photos from NDEO National Conference 2016 by Rob Cannon.