A Brief History of the Wisconsin Dance Council

In 1966, the Wisconsin Dance Council was established at the Conference on International Understanding Through Dance at the UW-Stevens Point for the purpose of promoting the appreciation of all types of dance as an art form and as a means of cultural expression. Its members included dance educators, studio teachers, performers, writers, dance-related organizations and individuals throughout Wisconsin who enjoy dance and wanted to support it. During this decade, the Wisconsin Dance Council published “Dance Dimensions”, which was a magazine supported by Wisconsin Arts Board grants. In 1992, WDC published a newsletter and dance calendar.

Dance and drama were certified by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for the first time in 1972.  The Wisconsin Dance Council was an adviser for the Arts in Society issue, “Growth of Dance in America,” published by the University of Wisconsin-Extension Arts in 1973.

In 1977, the Education Committee worked closely with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to establish Dance Curriculum Guidelines for K-12 education, one of the first such guides in the nation. In addition, the committee helped to initiate state certification for dance teachers in public and private schools throughout Wisconsin. 

In 1977, the Wisconsin Dance Council held its first annual conference. The annual conference offered master classes, workshops and performances by guest artists.

In 1984, the Wisconsin Dance Council instituted its annual awards presentation and reception to honor outstanding dancers, teachers and supporters of dance in the state of Wisconsin.

In 1995, Wisconsin Dance Council board members served on the task force to write the dance content standards for the Department of Public Instruction.

In 1999, members presented verification for dance in education at State Superintendent’s Blue Ribbon Commission on the Arts.

In 2016, the Wisconsin Dance Council celebrated its 50th Anniversary.

In fiscal year 2017, the Wisconsin Dance Council became the Wisconsin State Affiliate of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO).