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NHSDA - 2022 Artistic Merit, Leadership, and Academic Achievement Award

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2021-2022 NDEO Artistic Merit, Leadership, and Academic Achievement Award
The Award
The National Winner of the Artistic Merit, Leadership, and Academic Achievement Award will receive a $1000 monetary award/scholarship. The 2 National Finalists will each receive a $250 monetary award/scholarship.

The National Winner, Finalists, and Honorable Mention recipients will all receive a certificate.  

Background
The National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA) serves to identify those honor students of junior and senior high school age for nomination for the NDEO Artistic Merit, Leadership and Academic Achievement Award, the highest student dance award in the nation. State Affiliates of the National Dance Education Organization may elect to offer a state-level award. All applicants are then forwarded for adjudication at the national level. There will be National Winners, Finalists, and Honorable Mentions. 

Student Eligibility
The applicant must be an inductee of the NHSDA and a high school junior or senior student (16-18 years) studying dance in any private or public high school, dance studio/academy, performing arts center, or community center. The student's NHSDA Chapter must hold a current Institutional Membership in the NDEO.

State Affiliates
NDEO has the following State Affiliates that support the NHSDA: AR, AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, MA, MD, MI, MO, NC, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, UT, WA, WI, and WV. Applicants that reside in a state that has an active NDEO State Affiliate that supports the NHSDA, may be eligible for a state-level award. 

Deadlines
You should hit the SUBMIT button in the online application no later than February 27, 2022. This then triggers an email to be sent to your Chapter Sponsor requesting that they upload the Award Recommendation Letter by March 2, 2022. The State Affiliates that support the NHSDA will determine and announce their own award deadline. National Winner, Finalists, and Honorable Mentions will be notified by email on or before May 30, 2022.

By submitting their application the student agrees that NDEO – NDHSDA is allowed to use their material on NDEO – NHSDA’s websites, in marketing, and other forms as seen fit by the organization.

Awards Criteria and RubricAward Criteria

Applicants are rated based on the strength of their technical and artistic merit, leadership, two essay questions, GPA, recommendation letter from current chapter sponsor, and resume. Each category is worth 300 points for a total score of 900 possible points. The applicants are judged in three main categories.  

Artistic Merit: The Nominee must demonstrate artistic and technical excellence in dance.

  • Technical excellence as seen in solo video - Solo video must be done in one shot with no edits, 3-minute maximum
  • Artistic Merit as seen in solo video - Solo video must be done in one shot with no edits
  • Essay #1: Choreography - What was the intent of your original choreography? Please provide the title of work, inspiration, and any challenges you encountered in the choreographic process. (Limit 250 words)

Leadership: The Nominee must demonstrate outstanding leadership in and outside of the field of dance at the school, community, state, and/or national level.

  • Recommendation Letter - Must be from current Chapter Sponsor
  • Resume - Include leadership in and out of the field of dance
  • Essay #2: Impact of Dance on Life - What impact has dance had on your life, in and out of the studio? How do you plan to use this influence in the future to have an impact on other people and communities? (Limit 500 words)

Academic Achievement: The Nominee must demonstrate academic excellence with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

  • Overall weighted and un-weighted GPA of 3.0 or higher (ex. 3.75 out of 4.0, or 4.25 out of 5.0) - All classes must be included in GPA, not just dance classes
  • Transcript (official or unofficial)
  • Essay #1 and Essay #2 Grammar and Writing Style

Rubric

Technical Excellence:  Executes the technique of choice with clarity and accuracy; demonstrates codified technical movements and/or positions with clarity and accuracy; demonstrates a mature understanding of the technique and from where movements originate within the body; demonstrates an intellectual understanding of the technique and is not just copying movements learned; transitions are smooth one movement to the next. Overall, the applicant demonstrates technical maturity.

Artistic Merit: Communicates the intent of choreographic movements; communicates emotions, ideas and feelings of dance using his/her inner-most resources; has an intellectual and emotional understanding of what is required in the choreography; communicates using effectively the elements of dance (time, energy, and space); integrated in his/her knowledge of how his/her body moves. Overall, the applicant has command over technique and performance and demonstrates maturity in artistic growth.

Leadership:  The student demonstrates leadership at school, community, or state levels, and evidence of leadership is provided in the Resume and Essay #2 question on leadership.

Essay Questions: The student uses excellent grammar (no typos) and articulately addresses the questions asked. The essay responses show maturity in synthesizing dance in life.

Recommendation Questions: Recommendation questions answered by the chapter sponsor emailed by Acceptd. 

Resume: It should be divided into four sections (each should be labeled): 1) Dance Training History; 2) Performance & Choreography Experience; 3) Clubs, Activities and Leadership Roles – what else have you participated in the school, community, state and/or national level (can be dance and non-dance related); and 4) Awards and Honors – list all dance and non-dance awards, honors or scholarships received. Limit 1 page.

Application Components
Besides basic contact information, the student will need to supply contact information (mailing address, email, phone) for their Chapter Sponsor and school principal. Make sure you gather this information before starting the online application. 

The online application consists of basic student contact information, two short essays, resume, a 3-minute maximum video, and two color photos (both a headshot and action photo either dancing or in a dance pose). The essays, video, resume, and photos are uploaded to the Acceptd platform as separate files. Once the application is received, Chapter Sponsors will be prompted to upload a Chapter Sponsor Award Recommendation Letter for the applicant. There is a $15 application fee (payable only by credit card).

Acceptd supports a majority of file types in use today including:

  • Video: MPEG, MPG, MP4, OGG, MOV, AVI, WMV, M4V, VOB, FLV
  • Images: JPG, JPEG, PNG, GIF
  • Documents: PDF, PS, DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPS, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, OPT, SXW, ODP, SXI, ODS, SXC, TXT, RTF


It is recommended that applicants keep media files under 200MB if at all possible. This means you will most likely need to compress your video file. This will prevent very long upload times. 

Checklist of Components

Essay Questions:  Students will briefly address both questions provided using Times New Roman in 12pt font, one inch margins on all sides, and single spaced. Each essay should follow the specified length guidelines. Save the essay questions all in one Word document file, or in a PDF file.
  1.  What was the intent of your original choreography? Please provide the title of work, inspiration, and any challenges you encountered in the choreographic process. (Limit 250 words)
  2. What impact has dance had on your life, in and out of the studio? How do you plan to use this influence in the future to have an impact on other people and communities? (Limit 500 words)


Resume: It should be divided into four sections (each should be labeled). Limit 1 page.

  1. Dance Training History
  2. Performance & Choreography Experience
  3. Clubs, Activities and Leadership Roles – what else have you participated in the school, community, state and/or national level (can be dance & non-dance related)
  4. Awards & Honors – list all dance & non-dance awards, honors or scholarships received. 

Video:  3-minute maximum of a solo performance by the student. It must be the student’s original choreography and must be done in one shot with no edits. It can be any genre of dance that best reflects the student’s artistic and technical abilities. While we traditionally receive a lot of modern/contemporary pieces, candidates should feel free to submit other styles such as tap, jazz, hip-hop, world dance, etc. It can be an actual performance on stage during a show, site-specific, or filmed in an informal setting or studio. We suggest that you view videos of past year’s winners – you can find them at www.ndeo.org/nhsdaaward. Videos submitted via DVDs and YouTube will not be accepted.


Photos: Two photos will need to be upload to the online application; 1) a headshot, and 2) a color photo of the applicant dancing, in a dance setting, or in a dance pose.

Chapter Sponsor Award Recommendation Letter: The deadline for the student to complete the application, pay the $15 fee and hit the SUBMIT button at the end of the application, is February 27, 2022. This will then trigger an email to Chapter Sponsor to answer Recommendation Questions, which must be completed by March 2, 2022. Please make sure the Chapter Sponsor checks their inbox for this email.

For guideline and requirement questions please contact: 301-585-2880 or nhsda@ndeo.org 

For technical questions, please check out our Help Desk for frequently asked questions.