Skip to main content
Shopping Cart
HomeDance Education Standards

Dance Education Standards


  NDEO has been instrumental in the writing of standards for dance education, most recently the 2014 National Core Arts Standards in Dance and the 2005 Standards for Learning and Teaching Dance in the Arts. Read on to discover more about these two sets of standards and determining which is the best fit for your teaching needs. 
The National Core Arts Standards in Dance and the 2005 Standards for Learning and Teaching Dance in Arts share a number of similarities. They are both:
  • Organized by the Artistic Processes of Creating, Performing, Responding, and Connecting
  • Developmentally appropriate, considering the physical, cognitive, and psychological needs and abilities of students at each age group
  • Adaptable to a variety of teaching settings, including K-12 schools, dance studios, and teaching artist programs
  • Applicable to all genres and styles of dance, as the framework can be adapted to meet the technical demands of each
creative dance
You may find these two sets of standards to be particularly effective when used in conjunction with one another, as together they provide helpful frameworks for both what to teach, and how to teach it.


National Core Arts Standards in Dance


african class

Special features of the 2014 NCAS Dance Standards include:

- Grade-by-grade standards for Pre-K to 8th, with 3 HS levels: Proficient, Accomplished, and Advanced

- Model Cornerstone Assessments (MCAs) for 2nd, 5th, 8th grade as well as three high school levels

- Designed around an anchor standard supported by a process component, an enduring understanding, and an essential question

- Focus on processes for teaching dance as art - the "how" of teaching the artistic processes in the studio or classroom

- Resources for inclusion for students with special needs

You may find the NCAS Dance Standards to be especially helpful in the K-12 Setting, with an emphasis on sequential curriculum and unit development supported by MCAs. Within the standards, there are opportunities to integrate other disciplines into the dance lesson. The standards align with National Core Arts Standards in Music, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Media Arts, allowing for collaborative and interdisciplinary opportunities.  More information, as well a a link to the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards interactive webpage, can be found here.



Standards for Learning and Teaching Dance in Arts


Special features of the 2005 Standards for Learning and Teaching Dance in

ballet class

Arts include: 

  • Benchmarked Standards for students to meet by 4th, 8th and 12th grades and equivalent years (9-10, 13-14, 17-18)
  • Focus on developmentally appropriate skills such as coordination, alignment, basic dance technique, choreography, and critical analysis - the "what" of teaching the artistic processes in the dance studio or classroom
  • Accompanying standards for Dance in Early Childhood, K-12 Model Programs, and Professional Teaching Standards for Dance Arts
Who Should Use These Standards?
You may find the 2005 Standards particularly helpful in the Private Studio setting, where classes are often grouped by age range and skill level rather than grade. When used with the accompanying Early Childhood standards, a comprehensive learning experience from age zero through eighteen can be facilitated. More information about the 2005 Standards can be found here. You can purchase or download the Standards in the Online Store

   Photo credits from top: Terry Goetz; Monique Walker; Ballet Hispanico.