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Subject Guides

Key Sources



Albert Search

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Encyclopedias and Background Information

The Oxford Dictionary of Dance Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010

International Encyclopedia of Dance New York: Oxford UP, 2005

International Dictionary of Modern Dance Detroit: St. James P, 1998

Dancers and Choreographers: A Selected Bibliography Wakefield: Asphodel P, 1995

The Routledge Companion to Phenomenology New York: Routledge, 2012

Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL)

Click on the blue headings below to explore additional recommended sources for research in Dance.

Primary Sources

What is a primary source?

A primary source is a document, physical object, sound or film recording created during a time period under study. Primary sources are found in a variety of places. Your best bet in identifying the primary sources that you need are from the research you do using scholarly books and articles. Look for references to primary sources in the footnotes and bibliographies of secondary source books and articles.

Many primary sources have been digitized and are available on the Web. See below for a selection of resources on the open web that may include primary sources for dance history research.

For more information about primary sources and where to find them, please see this guide.

SMC Library resources

Resources on the open web

More Articles and Databases

Search tips:

To find out if SMC owns a specific journal use the Periodicals List. Use ILLiad to order articles not available at SMC. To check to see if a journal is peer-reviewed, look up the journal title in Ulrich's Periodical database. A referee icon indicates that the journal is peer-reviewed.

Performing Arts / Humanities databases:

Full-text access to journals published by the Johns Hopkins University Press and other presses....

Provides image and full-text online access to back issues of selected scholarly journals in the...

The Philosopher's Index is a bibliographic database with informative, author-written abstracts...

Indexes and abstracts 1,470 arts and humanities journals Provides the number of times cited and...

Dissertations & Theses database:

Includes citations for dissertations ranging from 1861 to those accepted last semester; those...

General databases:


Discover articles from many of our databases.

More Books

Albert Search

Search Albert to find books, movies, etc..

Advanced Search

Search tips

Search Albert, the SMC Library's online catalog, for books, films, and music available at SMC. To search for a specific book, search by author or by title. To search for books in general about a particular topic, try several of the following subject searches:

Ballet -- History
Choreographers -- United States
Dance criticism
Dance -- Anthropological aspects
Dance -- History
Dance -- Philosophy
Dance -- Political aspects
Dance -- Reviews
Dance -- Social aspects
Dance -- Sociological aspects
Dancers -- United States -- Biography
Halprin Anna (e.g.)
Male dancers
Modern Dance
Sex in dance
Women dancers

Or try different keyword combinations, e.g. keywords:

Brazil and (music or dance)
China and dance

To search the contents of ebooks try:

Ebrary Academic Complete is a highly interactive eBook database from ebrary that covers all...

Films and Streaming Media

VAST Academic Video Online:  Dance

Films on Demand: Music & Dance

Dance Online: Dance in Video, Volume II

Kanopy: The Arts > Dance

Albert Search

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Advanced Search

To search Albert for films type keywords or a title into the search box then click on the arrow on the right and change "Entire Collection" to "Films Videos".

Dance Associations & Websites


Dance Critics Association (DCA): Established in 1974, DCA hosts a yearly conference in the late spring or early summer where critics, editors, writers, scholars, dancers and choreographers convene to discuss issues that impact the world of dance in general, and the art form of dance criticism in particular.

Congress on Research in Dance (CORD): A nonprofit organization, CORD provides opportunities for dance professionals from a broad range of specialties to exchange ideas, resources, and methodologies through publication, international and regional conferences, and workshops.

National Dance Education Organization (NDEO): NDEO provides professional development, networking forums, honor societies, journals, research and advocacy tools for teachers, administrators and students in the field of dance arts education.

Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS): A constituent member of the American Council of Learned Societies, SDHS advances the field of dance studies through research, publication, performance, and outreach to audiences across the arts, humanities, and social sciences.


Library of Congress Performing Arts Encyclopedia: The Performing Arts Encyclopedia (PAE) is a guide to performing arts resources at the Library of Congress. The PAE provides information about the Library's unsurpassed collections of scores, sheet music, audio recordings, films, photographs, and other materials. Users can find digitized items from the collections; special Web presentations on topics and collections; articles and biographical essays; finding aids to collections; databases for performing arts resources; information on concerts at the Library; and a special Performing Arts Resource Guide which contains entries for hundreds of Library collections, Web sites, databases and exhibits.

Citing and Writing


The accepted citation style for dance is MLA (Modern Language Association) style which is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. For help citing use the MLA Style Guide from SMC Library and the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.).

For dance history classes which require the use of Chicago Style, please consult The Chicago Manual of Style or the Chicago Style (Notes and Bibliography) guide from SMC Library.

Writing Assistance

Questions about grammar and structure? Don't forget to refer back to your ENGL 3, 4 and 5 writing manuals. We have a couple of copies on Reserve if you need to quickly refer back to rules on commas, noun/pronoun agreement, structuring your paper, or other issues.

The Writing Center

Having trouble putting it all together? The SMC Center for Writing Across the Curriculum (CWAC), or "The Writing Center" offers peer-to-peer advising sessions for both undergraduate and graduate students. You can call or stop by to make an appointment, or can also drop in and do a session immediately, if an adviser is available. See their website for more information, or stop by De La Salle - next to Hagerty Lounge, or call: 925.631.4684