• What is Dance Educaton? 

    The National Dance Education Organization represents dance arts in K-12 education, private studios/schools of dance,

    higher education, community centers, and performing arts organizations including over 2,500 dance education

    professionals around the country.

    Dance can have a positive impact on student achievement, teacher satisfaction, and school culture.

    Examples of the positive impact of dance education in schools include;

      Increases reading and STEM test scores

      Offers neurological benefits, including persistence at task, memory retention, and making cognitive connections

      Develops social and emotional coping skills, including tolerance, focus, and engagement

      Supports integrated teaching practices

      Boosts teacher and school morale

    How do we know?

    NDEO undertook a review of over 50 studies of how dance impacts K-12 learning and produced a 60-page report,

    EVIDENCE: A Report on the Impact of Dance in the K-12 Setting (2013)  that summarizes the key findings of

    the studies. Examples of some of the studies include;

      A 2005-2007 study, wherein students in the Jefferson County, Florida model arts program outperformed other

    districts in reading and math scores. (Evidence Report, p. 22)

      Cindy Soto’s (2001) thesis indicated that students who participated in dance demonstrated more persistence,

    and had higher grades than those involved in non-academic (and non-dance, such as math club) activities.

    (Evidence Report, p. 9-10)

      In How the Arts Develop Young Brains , David Sousa states: “Brain areas are developed as the child learns songs

    and rhymes and creates drawings and finger paintings. The dancing and movements during play develop gross

    motor skills, and the sum of these activities enhances emotional well-being. And sharing their artwork enhances

    social skills. The arts are not just expressive and affective, they are deeply cognitive. They develop essential

    thinking tools -- pattern recognition and development; mental representations of what is observed or imagined;

    symbolic, allegorical and metaphorical representations; careful observation of the world; and abstraction from

    complexity.” (Quoted in the Evidence Report, p. 37)

      100% of teachers in PS 70 in the Bronx reported that by integrating dance into their classrooms, they gained

    insight into student capabilities through the arts. They were also able to teach academic subjects in new ways,

    and they increased their ability to integrate the arts into their teaching. (Evidence Report, p. 24)

      From the reports of the model programs and professional development projects funded by the Arts-in-

    Education grants under the U.S. Department of Education, dance programs impacted teachers in the following

    ways (Evidence Report, p. 19-20):

    Increased teachers’ interest in co-teaching

    Increased levels of authentic instruction

    Increased transference, deep knowledge, connections to the world beyond the classroom, social

    support for learning, high expectations, challenging work, and mutual respect

    Fostered creation of original curricula