The National Dance Society (NDS) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that envisions a country where each individual is provided a wide range of quality dance education, dance performance, and physical literacy programs throughout their lifespan.

Our board is comprised of individuals who have been leaders in the field of dance and physical literacy at the state, regional, and national levels, published authors on the topic, as well as long-term educators and practitioners.

The National Dance Society aims to promote quality and inclusive dance performance, dance education, physical literacy, and engagement through schools, studios, leisure and recreation programs, faith-based groups, and culturally based settings.

Dance group posing for photo

Photo Courtesy of Diane Bedford


The mission of the National Dance Society is to provide leadership in promoting research in, advocating for, and using best practices in the delivery of dance and dance education that furthers dance as an art form, as a support for academic success, and as a process for improving individuals’ health and wellness in a multicultural society.

NDS Seven Purposes

  1. Advocate for funding, research, and offering evidence-based educational programs that promote varied forms of dance within schools, community programs, and venues for concert art;
  2. Promote leadership skills and strategies to strengthen dance education within schools, the community, the state, and nation;
  3. Encourage professional involvement in dance education and recognizing excellence among professional and future dance educators;
  4. Educate key decision-makers about the value of dance in education reform, economic development, and health promotion across the lifespan;
  5. Support research in dance as related to program and curriculum development, program and student assessment, instructional delivery, performance, academic achievement, and personal wellness;
  6. Identify (or develop) and disseminate professional materials to help those developing programs, designing dance curriculum, and providing dance instruction in a variety of learning environments: including fine arts programs, physical education curriculum, recreation and leisure settings, community- and cultural-based venues, studios, and professional settings;
  7. Provide a broad range of professional development workshops, training programs, and performance opportunities.

Statement of Solidarity

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” This quote from a sermon on courage delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr. 55 years ago, still resonates with urgency today. We at the National Dance Society stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers of color. We understand that dance is a powerful medium through which we can showcase all the human emotions and the toll exacted by injustice, fear, degradation, and disrespect. Our motto of Dance For All is founded in the belief that dance is an inclusive, healthy, lifelong activity that should be available to everyone. We are committed to giving everyone a voice and encourage creative expression to help bring about the necessary changes that must occur in our society. Our annual conference, entitled Dance in Broad Perspectives is a forum in which to engage in diverse applications within the field of dance. We are committed to continually offering avenues of inclusion in all aspects of our artform. We affirm the value of dance, and the arts as a whole, to the communal enhancement of a cohesive society, and strive to promote unity. We must do this together. We stand in support of all BIPOC, LGBTQ, and ability-focused communities. (Cheryl Stafford)

Board of Directors

BJ Santos

BJ Santos 

Freddie Thomspon-Esters

Cheryl Stafford

Cheryl Stafford

Cindy Herndon
Recording Secretary

Melanie Cardone
Member At Large

Lacreacia Sanders

Lacreacia Sanders
Member At Large

Alex Spitzer
Member At Large

Laura Pollock
Student Representative

Grace Haus
Student Representative

Fran Anthony Meyer

Fran Anthony Meyer
Executive Director


Leadership Team

2022 - 2023


ADVOCACY: Chair, Rebecca Clark; Co-Chair, Ronelle Eddings

DANCE EDUCATION: Chair, Gladys Keeton; Co-Chair, Stephanie Laranjiera

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: Chair, Tarin Hampton; Co-Chair Nancy Kane

PERFORMING ARTS: Chair, Dieca Jones; Co-Chair, Shawn Zachery

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Chair, Christine Bergeron; Co-Chair, Elizabeth Jones-Boswell

PUBLICATIONS: Chair, Carisa Armstrong; Co-Chair, Nick Enge

RESEARCH & EVALUATION: Chair, Lisa Lewis; Co-chair, Dawn Davis Loring

SOCIAL MEDIA: Chair, Henry Castelvecchi; Co-Chair, Keisha Breaker

STUDENT: Chair, Pamela Washburn; Co-Chair, Danielle Laurion

WELLNESS: Chair, Valerie Winborne; Co-Chair, Barb Maclam