In 1987 Nordisk Kulturfond (Nordic Culture Fund) financed a project over a three-year period – NDK: Nordisk Danskommittée (Nordic Dance Committee). The purpose was to strengthen the position for dance in northern Europe. In December the same year NDK arranged a conference for research and ideas. At this time a group of representatives from the Nordic countries proposed that the cooperation should continue in a more organized manner. This group functioned from October 1988 as a provisional board for NOFOD: Nordic Forum for Dance Research, and arranged in the fall 1990 its first dance research conference in Copenhagen.
The board of the association have every second year thereafter, with two representatives from each of the five Nordic countries, continued to arrange research conferences. Starting with Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland and in 2004 Iceland had the economic possibility to host the conference.
The purpose of the association is mainly to arrange conferences for dance research every second year. It is also to organize national seminars and meetings, to act as network between individuals and institutions both on a national and Nordic basis, and to spread knowledge about dance research. The number of international participants at the conferences has increased over the years, which can be positively interpreted in such a way that the work of NOFOD has given results, and that Nordic dance research is established with an international interest.
The association NOFOD acknowledges the importance of creating meeting places in all genres of research, regardless of discipline. Dance research today is to a large extent interdisciplinary, and thereby there are tendencies that dance as academic subject become marginalized inside the different disciplines. Therefore it is important to make the dance research visible, partly as an independent and partly as an interdisciplinary field of research. As a consequence of this the members consists of researchers in theatre- and dance studies, ethnology, social anthropology, history, dance therapy, and practitioners such as dancing-teachers, dancers and choreographers, where some of them are also involved in projects regarding artistic research.