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NDEO National Awards

Congratulations to our 2020 National Award Recipients!

NDEO will honor award recipients at a virtual National Awards Ceremony on Thursday, September 10th at 8 PM EDT featuring a keynote address from the Lifetime Achievement Awardee and a panel discussion between all awardees

Register here to attend
Lifetime Achievement - Sandra Minton
Outstanding Dance Educator (Private Sector) - Amanda Standard and Jennifer Aversa
Outstanding Dance Education Researcher - Pam Musil
Outstanding Leadership - Stephanie Milling and Susan Kirchner

To read more about the 2020 awardees, click here.

Lifetime Achievement
The most prestigious award conferred, the Lifetime Achievement Award is given for exemplary leadership, scholarship and/or artistry, and philanthropy or service to dance education.


Outstanding Leadership
This award is given to an individual who has demonstrated excellence in creating ideas for programs, curriculum, and/or projects that have had a significant impact on the field of dance education and who has demonstrated leadership at the local, state, regional, national, or international level. Additionally, the recipient of this award should inspire and cultivate vision and leadership in others.


Outstanding Dance Educator - Private Sector
This award acknowledges a stellar dance educator from the membership. The award is granted on a yearly rotating basis to a dance educator from a different teaching environment each year. In 2020, the award will recognize someone from Private Sector / Dance Studio environment.  Additionally, the recipient of this award should inspire and motivate their students and have a significant impact in their school community. 

Outstanding Dance Education Researcher

This award recognizes an individual who has made a unique contribution to the field of dance education through creative and/or scholarly research. The recipient of this award should cultivate the importance of scholarly and creative research throughout the field of dance education.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Nominees must be NDEO members in good standing. Nominators do not need to be NDEO members.
  • All nominees must have consistent NDEO membership of five years or more prior to nomination as either a Professional or Institutional Member (as the main contact on the account).
  • Nominators may nominate only one candidate in each category.
  • For the full listing of requirements for each Award, click here.

Nomination Guidelines

  • All award nominees may self-nominate except for Lifetime Achievement.
  • Obtain permission from the nominee prior to submitting materials.
  • Submit all required information in the online nomination form by the published deadline.
  • Please be sure to list the nominee's name as they would like it reflected on the award and all published materials.
  • For the full listing of guidelines for each Award, click here.

Additional Information

  • Nominators and award recipients should expect to attend the annual NDEO National Conference and awards presentation. If the honoree cannot attend the Annual Conference, they should appoint a person to accept the award in their honor and prepare a written statement of acceptance. The nominator may be asked to present the award.
  • Award recipients are given a complimentary registration to attend National Conference to accept their award.
  • Awards will be given only when warranted at the sole discretion of the Awards Committee.
  • Special consideration may be given to candidates who have contributed time and energy on behalf of NDEO.
  • The Committee, at its discretion, may hold interviews with appropriate persons from the candidate’s work environment.
  • Nominations will not be held over for submission the following year.
  • Only the required materials will be reviewed. Additional materials will not be forwarded to the evaluation committee.

Organization Awards

The Executive Director's Award for Service to NDEO and President's Commendation for Excellence for Service in the Field are chosen by the NDEO Executive Director and President, respectively, to honor deserving members who have shown excellent service to the field of dance education and to NDEO.

For the purposes of the NDEO award, a Teaching Artist can be defined as:

1.) A working dance professional (choreographer, performer, artist), who also teaches independently or through a dance company as a guest artist in a variety of settings.

2.) An educator hired by a community-based or performing arts organization as a teaching artist, who leads dance-based classes in schools or community venues on a contract basis. 

3.) An educator who works as an independent contractor in more than one setting, which may include studios, universities, community programs, and schools. This artist is not employed full-time in any one setting.