Dance education refers to education or training that leads to theatrical dancing, as opposed to dance in education, which is limited to dance in elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools where dance is offered as a useful tool for physical and personal development and as a way of developing higher learning skills. The distinction is not always clear. Some universities claim, for instance, that whether or not students emerge as dancers for the professional stage, they should be given a sufficiently high level of physical training to allow for careers in dance. On the other hand dance academies and other pre-professional institutions are beginning to offer courses in dance notation, anatomy, music, theatre and other related subjects previously not thought to be essential to dance training.
Movement and rhythm, as expressed through dance, have long been the heart and soul of all cultures. A quality physical education program is not a balanced program unless elements of dance are included as integral parts of the curriculum.