National Dance Association

The National Dance Association (NDA), is a defunct association of SHAPEAmerica, formerly the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). It was the oldest of dance education organizations, and developed programs, published books and materials, and sponsored professional development conferences for dance educators in a broad range of disciplines.

National Dance Association
PresidentMary Ann Laverty
Reston, VA, US
AffiliationsAmerican Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
WebsiteNational Dance Association


The National Dance Association was originally established in 1932 as the section on Dance by the American Physical Education Association (APEA), a forerunner to the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (AAHPER). It was elevated to Divisional status in 1965 and nine years later became an association within the newly renamed American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). In 2013 NDA was dissolved as AAHPERD became one unified organization and changed its name to SHAPE America (Society of Health and Physical Education).

Constituencies servedEdit

NDA serves dance educators in the following areas: Early Childhood Elementary Secondary College/University Private Studios/ Schools Dance Medicine & Science Dance Technology Curriculum Development Publications Development Dance Performance Dance for the Differently Abled Advocacy and Public Relations [clarification needed]

Teacher and dance educator enhancementEdit

NDA promoted dance professionalism through continuing education credits in workshops and conventions held at national, district and state levels. Publications included NDA's landmark document, the National Standards for Dance Education, Opportunity- to- Learn Standards for Dance and Anne Green Gilbert's Creative Dance for All Ages.

Dance science and somaticsEdit

NDA was at the forefront supporting efforts to integrate technology within the arts through such conferences as Dancing with the Mouse and Page-to-Stage. It supported healthy lifestyles through its publications Dance Movement Therapy and Preventing Dance Injuries.

Nu Delta AlphaEdit

Nu Delta Alpha was an Honor Society that recognized Students and Professionals for High Achievements in Dance. It was designed for dance education students, dance educators, and professional dancers to express their devotion to the art form by sharing, recognizing, and promoting dance education within schools and communities. Nu Delta Alpha chapters were designated for middle through high school, college through professional levels, private studios, and preparatory and home schools. Affiliation with Nu Delta Alpha provided students and professionals with the opportunity to advocate for dance education.


NDA is governed by a Board of Directors.

Final President Mary Ann Laverty Woodside High School, Norfolk, VA
Final Past President Freddie Thompson-Esters Hollywood High School, CA
Final Representative, Board of Governors Anne Stewart Del Mar University, retired
Final Vice President, Education Nancy Brooks Schmitz Univ. of Guam, emeritus
Final Vice President, Education Elect Debra Knapp New Mexico State University
Final Vice President, Performance Janys Antonio California State University San Bernardino
Final Vice President, Science & Somatics Lisa Lewis Austin Peay State University
Final Vice President Science & Somatics -Elect Susan Mayes University of Arkansas-Fayetteville
Final Director, State/District Sanja Korman Bellaire High School, Houston, TX
Final Director, Publications Sandy Weeks, Ph.D Texas A&M University-Commerce
Final Parliamentarian Fran Meyers Educational Consultant
Final Nu Delta Alpha Honor Society Chair Karen Lynn Smith Maryland Council for Dance, Inc.

Annual awardsEdit

Heritage AwardEdit

The Heritage Award recognized individuals who made outstanding contribution of national or international significance to dance in the following categories: Teaching excellence; Establishment or administration of a functioning dance department, center or program; Research or publication; Consulting; Choreography; Performance; Notation; or Related Arts.

The first Heritage Award was presented in 1953.

Heritage Award winners

2012 - Dianne Walker
2011 - Lulu Washington

2010 Marlys Waller and Anne Pittman

2009 - Lee Wakefield, Linda Wakefield
2008 - Mary Jane Wolbers
2007 - Earlynn J. Miller
2006 - Joan Woodbury
2005 - Gus Giordano
2004 - Donald McKayle
2003 - Ruth Solomon
2002 - Connie Jo Hepworth-Woolston
2001 - Nelda Guererro Drury
2000 - Mary Maitland Kimball
1999 - Kathryn G Ellis
1998 - Mary Bee Jensen
1997 - Kathleen Kinderfather
1996 - Margie R Hanson
1995 - Alma Hawkins
1994 - Jeanette Hypes
1993 - Jean Erdman
1992 - Betty Toman
1991 - Bella Lewitsky, Margaret Small Mains
1990 - Charlotte York Irey
1989 - Rose L Strasser
1988 - Michael Herman, Mary Ann Herman
1987 - Lois Ellfeldt
1986 - Evelyn Lockman
1985 - Aileene Lockhart
1984 - Miriam Lidster
1983 - Peter Wisher
1982 - Mary Ella Montague
1980 - Dudley Ashton
1979 - Gladys Andrews Fleming
1978 - M. Francis Dougherty
1977 - Elizabeth R Hayes
1976 - Hanya Holm
1975 - Miriam Gray
1974 - Marian VanTuyl
1973 - Gertrude Lippincott
1972 - Vyts Beliajus
1971 - Katherine Dunham
1970 - Charles Weidman
1969 - Ruth L. Murray
1968 - Lucille Czardorns
1967 - John Martin
1966 - Martha Hill Davis
1965 - Ted Shawn
1964 - Louis Horst
1963 - Margaret H'Doubler


The NDA Scholar/Artist is selected by the NDA Research Committee. The awardee serves for one year beginning at the AAHPERD National Convention at which he/she delivers the NDA Scholar/Artist Lecture. The NDA Scholar/Artist is chosen by the following criteria:

• A scholarly record as evidenced by publications, presentations and other creative works including choreography extending over ten (10) years.
• Currently producing scholarly materials or other creative works.
• Document in-depth study of dance.
• Capable of communicating ideas and knowledge to selected arts groups as well as to groups in the Alliance disciplines

The first NDA Scholar was selected in 1977. The designation of Scholar was changed in 1995 to include "Artist" in the title; whereas, the first NDA Scholar/Artist was named in 1996.

Dance Scholar/Artists

2014 - Karen Lynn Smith 2013 - Debra Knapp 2012 - Josie Metal-Corbin 2011 - Karen Kaufman 2010 - Gayle Kassing
2009 - Marita Cardinal 2008 - Wendy Oliver 2007 - Theresa Purcell Cone 2006 - Paulette Côté
2005 - Anne Green Gilbert 2004 - Nancy Brooks Schmitz 2003 - Janice LaPointe-Crump 2002 - James W. Penrod
2001 - Rayma K. Beal 2000 - Lynnette Y. Overby 1999 - Sandra Minton 1998 - Billie Lepczyk
1997 - Bill Evans 1996 - Shirley Ririe 1995 - Penelope Hanstein 1994 - Susan W. Stinson
1993 - Judith Gray 1992 - Ruth Solomon 1991 - Janice Gudde Plastino 1990 - Edrie Ferdun
1989 - Sarah Chapman Hilsendager 1988 - Earlynn Miller 1987 - Mary Ella Montague 1986 - Aileene S. Lockhart
1985 - Mary Alice Brennan 1984 - Lois Ellfeldt 1983 - Charlotte York Irey 1982 - M. Frances Dougherty
1981 - Araminta Little 1980 - Ruth L. Murray 1979 - Miriam Gray 1978 - Elizabeth R. Hayes

Related organizationsEdit

See alsoEdit