Skip to main content
Shopping Cart
HomeCollegiate Handbook - Starting a Chapter

To add a link to the left side, click in the white space below the existing links.Use the link builder in the toolbar to add a link. The page will automatically style the links. To edit colors, edit the html, and change #4c4c4c and #a12422 to the colors you want. Be careful removing existing links. Don't backspace too far, it'd be better if you edited the html.


Starting an NHSDA Chapter

Who can start a chapter of the Collegiate Programof the National Honor Society for Dance Arts?

A Collegiate chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts may be set up in any private or public college or university with a dance program. 

Schools seeking to establish a chapter should have a robust in-school dance program offering for-credit and elective classes and have a dance faculty member willing to serve as the Chapter Sponsor. NHSDA host schools should aspire to provide high quality dance education programs that reflect NDEO’s mission of furthering dance as an art form. Education in the art of dance develops knowledge and skills required to create, perform, and understand movement as artistic communication. A comprehensive education includes technique classes (such as ballet, tap, jazz, modern, world dance, etc.), opportunities to perform, and exposure to improvisation, choreography, observation, and analysis.

Does the school need an NDEO Membership?

In order to establish a school chapter, the school first must obtain an NDEO membership at the Institutional Member level. The NDEO membership must be renewed every year if the chapter is to remain active. Membership information, costs and an online sign-up option are provided on the NDEO web site at Typically the school’s administration pays the dues, however, sometimes student organizations may pay the dues. 

How do I apply online to start a Chapter?

Once you have created NDEO Institutional Membership for your school/studio, you will can apply to start a chapter on the NHSDA website by following these steps:

1. Go to the NHSDA website (
2. Select "Start A Chapter" from the top menu
3. At the bottom of the page, click "Apply to Start A Chapter"
4. Complete the Chapter Application and press save. (You will need your NDEO Institutional Membership Number to complete the application)
5. You will receive an email within 1-2 weeks confirming that your chapter has been approved.

How does the NHSDA chapter function as an organization within the school?

Decisions about the management and governance of the school chapter are at the discretion of the Chapter Sponsor, taking into consideration institutional policies, the ages, abilities and interests of the students, the nature of the dance program, time constraints, and so on. There are two main ways the NHSDA is set up within schools:

NHSDA Honors Only Model 

 The chapter can be managed solely by the Chapter Sponsor and exists primarily to induct students who have met the criteria for induction.  In this model, the Chapter Sponsor maintains all records and coordinates the induction of eligible students. Chapter activities, if they exist, are often run by the Chapter Sponsor as part of the curriculum and program but the focus is on “earning the honor” and the induction ceremony.

NHSDA Club Model 

The chapter is set up as a student organization with elected student officers with the Chapter Sponsor acting as the faculty advisor. The chapter can be its own stand-alone student organization or exist as part of an existing student organization (such as an NDEO Student Organization* or another dance club). The school may require that the NHSDA chapter submit a constitution or bylaws. To the extent to which the Chapter Sponsor deems appropriate, the student officers have a role in maintaining records and coordinating induction ceremonies. In addition, the chapter may engage in other activities such as performances, fundraising, field trips, service projects and other activities that support the program’s mission and goals and students’ interests.  If desired, regularly scheduled chapter meetings can be held, along with any demonstrations or lectures that may be of interest to or enhance the dance knowledge of NHSDA inductees. When applicable, Chapter Sponsors or designated students should prepare and distribute to the inductees a calendar of upcoming dance activities and NHSDA meetings. *NDEO Student Organizations are a separate entity from NHSDA Chapters.  Learn more at

What do I include on the Chapter Application?

After signing up for an NDEO Institutional Membership at and paying the member dues, you will apply for an NHSDA Chapter at You will need the following information to complete the application:

a. Your school’s 4 or 5 digit NDEO Institutional Membership ID Number
b. School’s mailing address
c. Chapter sponsor’s name, phone and email
d. Names and email addresses of people who should be notified of your new chapter such as any local school district personnel (e.g., district superintendent, school principal, etc.).
e. The chapter's GPA requirement (must be at least a 3.0 for Junior and Secondary chapters)
e. A brief summary of the dance program offered at your school. This description can include a mission statement, institution type (Private studio, public middle or high school, university, etc.), information about courses offered and genres studied, performance and choreographic opportunities,etc.

The Chapter Sponsor will receive a welcome letter and official chapter certificate in the mail within 2 to 4 weeks of their application being approved. The Chapter Sponsor may then begin chapter activities.

I've just started a chapter. How can I induct my current seniors in time for graduation?

In order to facilitate the start-up of a new chapter, it is permitted for soon to be graduating students who have been in the dance program and who already have met the induction criteria to use count previous activities toward induction. Points may be awarded retroactively for past activities as long as documentation of these activities is provided to the Chapter Sponsor. For example, if well documented, a Chapter Sponsor can retroactively award points for activities completed back to freshman year. The Chapter Sponsor may rely on grade transcripts, playbills from past productions, rehearsal schedules, and other anecdotal records in order to determine whether a student has met the criteria. Points should not be awarded retroactively for students who are not approaching graduation.

How long does it take a student to earn the appropriate number of points for induction?

On average it take a dance major or other serious, dedicated dance student about one full year to earn the 45 points needed for Induction. A student who approaches dance on a more parttime basis may take up to two years to qualify for induction. For new chapters starting in the Fall, student dance activities from the summer before school started can count towards points.