Rima Faber

Dance Education

Rima Faber, PhD, is based in the Washington DC area and the current chair for the dance writing team for the NCCAS new national standards in dance. At Rutgers, she developed and instructs the online GSE course in Assessment and Measurement for Dance.

Faber received her PhD and MA from American University and her BA from Bennington College. She studied with Blanche Evans (1947–1951), Anna Sokolow (1952–1957), Martha Graham (1957–1961), and Merce Cunningham (1968–1971). She founded and directed Consolidated Energy, an experimental dance nucleus in New York (1971–1978). After moving to the Washington, DC area in 1978, she danced with Liz Lerman for two years, and then performed as a soloist for Pola Nirenska from 1980 until 1992. After Nirenska’s death, she assisted Dr. Karski in forming the Pola Nirenska Award Fund and has since served on the selection committee, currently serving as Chair.

Faber founded and directed The Primary Movers (1979–2000), a studio and children’s performing company that taught dance to children from physiological, psychological, neurological, and cognitive approaches to learning dance as an art form. Faber worked as a Washington Artist in Education teacher from 1980–1991 and received Artist in Education grants from the DC Commission on the Arts (1988–1991) to teach academic curricula through dance in elementary schools. 

Faber worked with Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) (1994–1997). She was chair of the editorial board of the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD, 1997–1999); adjunct professor at Montgomery College Dept. of Fine Arts; adjunct faculty at American University Dept. of Performing Arts; and visiting clinical professor at New York University. 

In 1998, Faber was instrumental in forming the National Dance Education Organization and served as founding President, founding Executive Director and, currently, Program Director. She has helped NDEO build into an organization that serves as the voice for dance arts education for private schools of dance, PreK–12, higher education, dance arts agencies, and community programs. She was research director for a three-year initiative to identify research in dance education in the United States since 1926, develop a database of over 2,800 citations describing each document, and publish a "Report to the Nation" analyzing the patterns, trends, and gaps of research in dance education. She has chaired task forces to develop standards in dance for early childhood and children 5–18 years of age (PreK and K–12). 

Some of Faber's international endeavors include a tour in Russia with The Primary Movers in 1996, being a member of Dance Education Delegation to China in 1996 and her contract to teach kinesthetic learning workshops in Germany in 1997.

  • Awards

    Awards and Honors:

    • Grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (1986–1993. 1995–1997)
    • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (1994–Present)
    • Phi Delta Kappa (1995–Present)
    • American University Dance Scholarship Awards (1993, 1994)
    • American University Student Service Award (1994)
      Beatrice Davis Community Service Award (1996)
    • Beatrice Davis Award (1997)
    • National Dance Education Organization Vision Award (2002)
    • American University Hall of Fame (2004)
    • DC Metro Dance Award for Excellence in Dance Education (2006)