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YDR's Dance Educators are also youth development practitioners whose philosophy is based upon YDR’s Eight Guiding Principles of Youth Dance Mastery. It’s based on the “Features of Positive Youth Development Settings” from the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine.


Principle One: To provide a safe, nurturing environment where children can express themselves through the art of dance. (Physical and Psychological Safety)


Principle Two: To provide guidelines and expectations that ensure students reach their highest potential in artistry and skill. (Appropriate Structure)


Principle Three: To foster a culture of mutual trust, respect and caring between dance educators and students. (Supportive Relationships)


Principle Four: To provide opportunities for meaningful inclusion regardless of socia-economic status, cultural background or aptitude in dance. (Opportunities to Belong)


Principle Five: To create a culture where students, parents and educators embrace respect, hard work, responsibility and accountability in achieving artistic goals. (Positive Social Norms)


Principle Six: To provide appropriate challenges that sparks inner artistry and increases a desire for excellence and advancement in the art of dance. (Support for Efficacy and Mattering)


Principle Seven: To ensure every student has the opportunity to set and achieve goals, master an art form and employ the necessary tools that embrace the instrument of the body. (Opportunities for Skill Building)


Principle Eight: To ensure students feel they play a contributing role within their schools, families and communities as a result of participation in YDR's programming. (Integration of Family, School and Community Efforts)


To download a printable copy, click here.