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NDEO Thank A Dance Teacher Day 2016

   November 29, 2016

Help us give back to the dance education community because... "It All Starts with a Dance Teacher"

#NDEOThankADanceTeacherDay is a global movement to shine the spotlight on dance education and the teachers who make it possible. It was started in 2014 by the National Dance Education Organization to raise awareness of the benefits of dance education through social media, and to raise money for NDEO's Professional Development Scholarship Fund. NDEO's Professional Development Scholarships are awarded annually to deserving dance teachers, so that they can advance their careers and better serve their students. A quality dance education can have a life-changing impact on students, providing physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and psychological benefits. Professional development allows dance teachers to provide a better dance education experience for their students, as the teachers take what they learn back to their studios, classrooms, and communities! Learn more by reading our Thank A Dance Teacher Day blog here
#NDEOThankADanceTeacherDay is hosted in conjunction with Giving Tuesday, an initiative started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y & and the United Nations Foundation as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season.
NDEO urges dance enthusiasts of all kinds (dancers, former dancers, current students, teachers, dance dads & moms, fans, etc.) to participate in #NDEOThankADanceTeacherDay by donating to NDEO in honor or memory of their dance teacher and sharing their story on social media. 

How to participate in #NDEOThankADanceTeacherDay:

  1. Donate $10 or more to NDEO’s Thank A Dance Teacher Fund, in honor or memory of a dance educator who impacted your life in a special way. Donations for this year’s campaign will be collected through 12/31/2016.

  2. Share your story on social media on 11/29/16 by using the hashtag #NDEOThankADanceTeacherDay . Be sure to include this link:

  3. Ask others to donate as well! Funds raised support NDEO’s Professional Development Scholarships. The more funds we raise, the more scholarships we can offer!

Give Now!

Why should you support our Professional Development Scholarships? 


For Shawn Lent, a 2015 Professional Scholarship recipient, the scholarship helped her connect with the field after working abroad, and allowed her to give back in real and meaningful ways:

“After living and working overseas for a few years, I was struggling to regain a place in the U.S. dance education landscape. I knew the unique voice and perspective I had gained could be a contribution to the field, but I didn't know how to access the conversation. Years of volunteer work and life on an Egyptian Pound salary had 

made for an unstable financial situation; the NDEO Professional Development Scholarship was thus a crucial life-line, a way back into the national field. Since attending the NDEO conference last year, I have had a paper on "Inclusion Strategies for Conservative Dancers" accepted to the Journal of Dance Education, spoken at four universities, and have been pushed by my peers to expand my thinking and practice,. As I develop programs and projects, my students see the benefit of advanced design and resources gained through the NDEO network, listserves, and more.” - Shawn Lent, Arts Manager, Writer and Educator and Social Practice Dance Artist, Chicago, IL

For Terri D. Smith, Founder of the iMOVE Dance & Production Program, taking courses in our Online Professional Development Program (OPDI) gave her credibility and the confidence to teach in new and impactful ways. 

In the after school care program that I started last year (iMOVE), I'm teaching students about the basic elements of dance, how to observe and comment on what they see in dance and they're learning how to create simple dance movements.  They're broadening their understanding of the art form.  And they are also able to make connections between dance and subjects they're studying in class, like reading, history and science.  The Elements of Dance course was extremely helpful in shaping my knowledge and allowing me to share and teach what I've learned.  In addition, I'm also starting to identify developmental needs in my 4th-6th grade students that helps me to teach them more effectively. And I wouldn't be as aware of the various stages and needs of my students as I am know if I had not taken the Developmental Domains course.  - Terri D. Smith, Dance Educator, Alabaster, AL

Donor Perks! 

  1. All donors will be listed on the NDEO website. The teacher you donated in honor/memory of will also be acknowledged.

  2. Donate $50 or more, and receive our NEW Decade of Dance Education Logo sticker!

The NHSDA Chapter Challenge!

The top 3 NHSDA Chapters who raise the most funds for #NDEOThankADanceTeacherDay will be profiled on the NDEO blog and featured on our social media! 
  1. Fill out the “NHSDA Chapter Challenge Sign-Up Form” here ( to let us know that you plan to participate!
  2.  Come up with a fundraising plan for your Chapter! Hold a car wash, a bake sale, a workshop, or a benefit concert, or collect individual donations from your chapter members.
  3. The Chapter Sponsor will submit the donation as a lump sum via credit card at, or by sending check made out to NDEO at 8609 Second Ave, Suite 203B, Silver Spring, MD 20910, no later than December 15, 2016. 
  4. All participating chapters will be listed as a donor on the NDEO website. Individual students and Chapter Sponsors will not be listed. 

Donor Match Program

  1. NDEO is currently seeking businesses, corporations, institutions, and private donors to provide matching grants for our Thank A Dance Teacher Fund.
  2. Donate a grant of at least $500, which will be used to match individual donations.
  3. Your name, logo, and website will appear on the Thank a Dance Teacher page of the NDEO website and distributed via eBlasts and social media
  4. Enroll in the Donor Match program by emailing Shannon Dooling-Cain at