The article is devoted to the analysis of the problems, contradictions and prospects of contemporary dance education in American school. The origins of dance perception as a cultural phenomenon in the history of human culture at various stages of its development are found. It is proved that dance is an important element of the culture of different regions of the world from ancient times to the present. The authors determined and characterized various conceptual approaches to teaching dance in modern American schools, particularly for dance education as part of art education or as part of physical education. It was found out that within any of these approaches dance did not traditionally occupied a worthy place in the curricula of primary and secondary school. The contradictions and prospects of finding “real” identity of dance in education were determined. The historical origin of dance education in the United States and the role of Denishawn School in American tradition of teaching dance are outlined. Research results on the role of dance education in the personality development (theory of multiple intelligence, theories of learning motivation, theories of creative skills development etc.) are systematized. The overview of educational and non-educational factors influencing the legitimization of dance education curriculum K12 is made: the presence of supporters and enthusiasts of dance education among teachers, school administrators’ efforts, support of parental community. The authors outlined objectives and content of the US standards of dance education K-12 ARTS, and their impact on innovative development of dance education in American schools. It was proved that the legitimization of dance in school education through the adoption of national standards K-12 ARTS made a positive impact on its innovative development.