This is a selective list of dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other books on dance. REF before the call number indicates location in the Reference Section and library in-use only.

It is important also to search journals and magazines when looking for information on dance and daners. To find articles on these topics, use the Article Databases.

International Encyclopedia of Dance.
Oxford University Press, 1998.
REF GV1585 .I586 1998 v. 1-6 and online
One of the most important dance publications of the 20th century. A great place to start any kind of dance research. Check the index in volume 6 to find all entries related to your topic. Entries include bibliographies. Also available online.
International Dictionary of Ballet.
St. James Press, 1993.
REF GV1585 .I57 1993 v. 1-2
Not online - yet - but worth a trip to the library! Covers individual artists (dancers, choreographers, librettists, composers, designers), individual ballets, and ballet companies. Although "ballet" is in the title, this sources covers major non-ballet dance figures such as Merce Cunningham and Mark Morris and designers such as Picasso, Matisse, Gontcharova, and Cocteau. Excellent source; entries include bibliographies.
International Dictionary of Modern Dance.
St. James Press, 1998.
REF GV1585 .I58 1998
Similar to International Dictionary of Ballet above. Includes chronology of modern dance.
Modern Dance Terminology.
Paul Love. Kamin Dance Publishers, 1953.
REF GV1783 .M26
Love interviewed dancers such as Hanya Holm, Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey for assistance with the definitions.
Oxford Companion to the Body.
Colin Blakemore and Sheila Jennett. editors. Oxford University Press, c2001.
REF QM7 .O96 2001 2 volumes
"This book attempts to cover "the 'art' of the human body--cultural, mythological, religious, historical and artistic perspectives--as well as the science." (from the preface) Arranged dictionary-style, with an index and cross-references, you will find definitions for dance, dance notation, mind-body interaction and yoga as well as migraine, fatigue, and the brain. Listed in "Best Consumer Health Books 2002" by Library Journal.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines.
Nancy Allison, editor. NY: Rosen Pub. Group, 1999.
REF R733 .I46 1999
What is Feldenkrais Technique? Pilates? Alexander Technique? Reiki? Qigong? What are the benefits of each technique or practice? Look in here to find out.Each entry includes a list of resources and a bibliography.
A to Z of American Women in the Performing Arts.
Liz Sonneborn. Facts on File, c2002.
REF PN2286.8 .S66 2002
Covering the 19th through mid-20th centuries, more than 150 women performers’ biographies are included.
This is a selected list of circulating books and videos on dance.

It is important also to search journals and magazines when looking for information on dance or a specific artist. To find articles on these topics, use the Article Databases.

Dancing Women: Female Bodies on Stage.
Sally Banes. Routledge, 1998.
792.8082 B221d
Banes reviews dance from the early 19th century through the present, questioning the representations and interpretations of women in dance.
Terpsichore in Sneakers: Post-Modern Dance.
Sally Banes. Wesleyan University Press, 1987.
793.322 B223t 1987
Banes reviews dance from the early 19th century through the present, questioning the representations and interpretations of women in dance.
Plenty of Good Women Dancers: African American Women Hoofers from Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Folklore Project, 2004.
Periodical indexes are research tools that allow you to search for articles in magazines, journals and newspapers.

Go to the library's Article Databases page for a list of the UArts Libraries' subscription databases. Check out the following for this topic:
EBSCOhost has a lot of full-text and scholarly articles covering a wide range of subjects.
JSTOR is all full-text, scholarly articles.
Nexis Uni is mostly newspaper articles. It is full-text and updated daily, which makes it great for current reviews.
ProQuest: The Arts has full-text and scholarly articles and plenty of non-scholarly sources. It focuses solely on the visual and performing arts.

I found articles I want to read. Now what?
There are different ways to find an article once you retrieve a citation in the index:

See if there is a link in the index you're using to a full-text article online and download it or e-mail it to yourself. Click the FindIt@UArts icon to see if our library holds the journal title. FindIt@UArts will also tell you if the full-text article is available in a different database.
Use interlibrary loan to request materials not owned by the UArts Libraries.


Looking for videos and DVDs of dance held by the UArts Libraries? There are a number of ways to search the library catalog.

  • In the search by box, you can select

      AUTHOR for choreographers (remember, LAST NAME FIRST: graham, martha) or for names of dance companies;
      TITLE for the title of the video or DVD;
      KEYWORD for names of particular pieces, e.g., "appalachian spring";

    then select "Video" in the search in box. Videocassettes and DVDs will be searched.

  • You can also BROWSE video and DVD titles by going to the catalog and selecting Call Number Search, then search for other call numbers, and reading the instructions for "Other Call Number" searches in the catalog.

  • You can find videos and DVDs by doing a broad subject search such as BALLETS and then LIMIT YOUR SEARCH by MATERIAL TYPE.

You may also be interested in our streaming video databases: Academic Video Online: Premium, Kanopy Streaming, and (OntheBoards is available on-campus only).
If you are off-campus, you'll be prompted to log in with your UArts email name and password.

Still can't find what you need? Please ask for help any time.

Style Manuals: Citing Your Sources

When you find information on a topic, no matter what format it takes (book, journal, Web page), there are style manuals to show you the correct way to give cite those sources in a paper.

There are many excellent dance-related websites for dance companies, organizations, and digital collections. They provide access to images, articles, videos, and other scholarship.

American Ballet Theatre's Online Ballet Dictionary
You must have the QuickTime plug-in installed and enabled to see the videos on this site. Quicktime videos of ballet steps plus an online dictionary of terms from a reliable source!
An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals, ca. 1490-1920
From the Library of Congress' American Memory online collection: "An American Ballroom Companion presents a collection of over two hundred social dance manuals at the Library of Congress."
American Society of Capoeira and Arts from Brazil/Philadelphia Capoeira Arts Center
The capoeira studio of former UArts School of Dance faculty member Adenilson Dos Santos.
National Dance Education Organization
"The National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and promotion of high quality education in the art of dance."
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