National Dance Foundation began as the Coalition for National Dance Week in 1981, as a committee of the United Dance Merchants of America, a more than 60-year-old association of suppliers to the dance world. The “grass roots” movement of the UDMA aimed to bring greater recognition to dance to “the masses”, and was organized and promoted primarily through the efforts of:

Alfred Terlizzi of Capezio/Ballet Makers Inc.®

Bob Stern of Dance Magazine

Susan Wershing of Dance Teacher Now magazine

Tighe King of Tighe Industries/Curtain Call Costumes; and

Susan Epstein, formerly of Taffy’s, Capezio/Ballet Makers Inc.®, and Curtain Call Costumes.

In 1991, the UDMA made a commitment to National Dance Week as a part of the UDMA campaign to actively encourage the growth of dance in America. Individuals that had long played a role in the success of the UDMA lent their expertise and leadership as key leaders in the National Dance Week movement:

1994: Marianne Prinkey of Star Styled Dancing Supplies became its first National Chairperson

1999: Patricia Goulding took on the role of Business Manager

2001: Goulding was named NDW’s first Executive Director

2001: Michael Terlizzi of Capezio/Ballet Makers Inc.® was named NDW Chairman

2002: Nancy Stone of Art Stone/The Competitor, Danceamerica, and International Dance Challenge was named National Honorary Chairperson

National Dance Week was celebrated every April with events and performances throughout the country, bringing dance to the general public and touting its many benefits to mind, body, and spirit. Many celebrities both in and out of the dance world lent their support to the annual celebration by holding the titles of Celebrity Spokesperson and/or Education Spokesperson. CLICK HERE to see the full list!

National Dance Foundation was established as a non-profit foundation in 2011 (CLICK HERE to see the current board of directors.) Over the years, the organization’s dedication to its founding mission has inspired events and initiatives taking place throughout the year while continuing the tradition of a week-long celebration in April. These reflect the unique and creative abilities of the individuals and organizations who participate, encourage, and take the lead in an array of events and initiatives creatively celebrating dance in unlimited ways. The goal is to be able to provide performance opportunities for all - including special needs dancers. The National Dance Foundation is also active in awarding educational scholarships to dance teachers supporting the initiatives of inclusion and kindness.