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History of the Registry of Dance Educators


The National Registry of Dance Education (NRDE) was founded by Elsa Posey, RDE in 1995 to fulfill a need in the private sector – the need to recognize highly qualified dance educators, especially those teaching in the private sector rising to acclaim through the performance track rather than the academic track and who lacked credentials attesting to their master teacher status.

Thus, the NRDE was established to advance the professional dance educator through recognition and accreditation. It was created to award certification to dance educators who already had the experience and the knowledge to be great dance educators. Once educators earned the Registered Dance Educator credential (RDE) and used it after their name – e.g., Mary Jones, RDE – additional professional opportunities emerged at local, state, and national levels.

For the past twenty years, NDEO has worked closely with the NRDE to provide current RDEs with excellent professional development and continuing education programs and services that RDEs need to retain certification; and, at the same time, provide new NRDE applicants with online learning opportunities needed to attain RDE certification. The relationship has been so mutually beneficial to dance educators and organizations that Elsa Posey, RDE, upon retirement as NRDE President in 2016, chose to have the NRDE transition to NDEO under programs and services to ensure continued growth and relevance to outstanding dance educators throughout the United States.

For the past two years, NDEO has been working to enhance programs and services of what is now known as “The Registry” for all dance educators who wish to attain the Registered Dance Educator (RDE) certification who work in the private sector as well as postsecondary education, PreK-12 education, performing arts organizations, and community/cultural arts education centers. The revised certification now aligns with the Master Teacher status defined and accepted for teachers of all disciplines in the United States.