Dance Honor Award

Freddie Elaine Thompson-Esters retired from teaching at the Los Angeles Unified School District (after 53 years). Her teaching career in dance and physical education began at the Henry Clay Junior High School (22 years) and concluded at Hollywood High School Performing Arts Center (31 years). She earned a BA degree from Wichita State University (KS) and obtained certification as an adapted physical education specialist from California State University (CSU), Long Beach. Freddie earned a MA degree from CSU, Dominguez Hills in Educational Administration. She is a long-term member of several professional organizations, including the California Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (CAHPERD), California Teachers Association, National Dance Association (NDA), and National Dance Society (NDS) to name a few. She was one of the nine individuals that created the NDS in 2014. As a state, regional, and national leader, Freddie served on many committees at each level. In leadership roles, she was CAHPERD’s dance vice-president and president, Southwest District’s (SWD) dance vice-president, and NDA’s vice-president for dance education and its last full-term president. Freddie was the past president of the newly formed NDS and currently serves as member-at-large on its board of directors. Further, she is the 2023 candidate for NDS president-elect. During her esteemed career, she received numerous awards, such as: CAHPERD and SWD Dance Educator of the Year; CAHPERD Honor, Emmett Ashford, and Verne Landreth Awards; and NDS and NDA service awards and presidential certificates/plaques. Freddie strongly advocates for dance across all of the school curriculum.