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NHSDA Junior Program

A Junior Chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts may be set up in any private or public middle or high school, dance studio/academy, performing arts center, or community center with an active dance program serving students grades 6-8. The institution is required to maintain an NDEO Institutional Membership for as long as the institution conducts an NHSDA Secondary Program. Schools that serve students in both 6-8 and 9-12 grades may have both a Junior and Secondary Chapter, although only one NDEO Institutional Membership is required. A faculty member must be willing to serve as the Chapter Sponsor, but students can take leadership roles in creating and maintaining the chapter. The chapter can be set up as a an one-time honor, or as a student organization with officers, regular meetings, and planned activities. There are no NDEO membership requirements for students. There is a one-time per student induction fee. Separate fees apply for the optional NHSDA Pins and Honor Cords. Please consult the NHSDA Secondary Program Chapter Sponsor Handbook for complete information on starting and maintaining a chapter at your institution.

NHSDA Junior Program (grades 6-8) Goals

  • To promote a desire for life-long learning in the field of dance.
  • To encourage an understanding of, and an appreciation for, dance as an art form and develop knowledgeable audiences for tomorrow.

Eligibility Criteria for Student Induction

Induction into the NHSDA Junior Program is earned through the accumulation of at least 15 points awarded for dance activities such as rehearsals, performances, research, workshops, or community service activities, alongside a GPA of at least 3.0. Students should track their points and provide the Chapter Sponsor with a record of points earned through worksheets, portfolios, or other agreed-upon methods. For points earned outside of chapter activities, verification of points earned should be provided to the Chapter Sponsor through playbills, registration forms, photos, or other agreed-upon methods. The Chapter Sponsor will keep a record of points earned on file. In addition, the prospective student's demonstration of collaborative teamwork, motivation, and leadership in the many aspects of dance (e.g., choreography, performance, mentoring, production) are factors in the determination of eligibility for induction.

GPA Requirement

The GPA is calculated on either the overall GPA (combined subject areas) or the dance GPA (academic excellence within the dance discipline), as determined by the chapter sponsor or faculty advisor in light of chapter goals and institutional policies.

The dance GPA works especially well in K-12 schools that offer a broad spectrum of coursework consisting of dance technique, choreography and composition, movement sciences (anatomy, kinesiology, Bartenieff, etc.), dance pedagogy (teaching methodology, standards and assessments, education theory and practicum, etc.), and specific academic courses (history, criticism, literature, research, philosophic foundation of dance, etc.).

The overall GPA works especially well in dance studios or performing organizations where grades are not offered in dance course. In this case, the chapter sponsor should ask for proof of the student's current GPA in school.

Should a student’s GPA fall below the Chapter’s minimum GPA requirements, there is no penalty or movement to dishonor the student. NHSDA designations remain with the student’s record. The faculty advisor and/or Chapter Sponsor are encouraged to work with the student to help the student regain academic rigor.

In schools where an official GPA system is not used, Chapter Sponsors and Inductees should do their best to calculate an estimated GPA based on the student’s current academic grades. There are also online GPA calculators available.

NHSDA Junior Chapter Sponsor Handbook

The NHSDA Junior Chapter Sponsor Handbook is a must-read for all new chapter sponsors and student officers in charge of NHSDA administration. Download and print it out to help guide you through the process. It reviews in-depth procedures for establishing and managing a chapter, tracking and awarding points and conducting recognition ceremonies as well as all pertinent forms.