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Research Guide to Dance: Library Resources

A list of resources available through Truxal Library for researching dance, dancers, and choreographers

Circulating Materials

To find books, audio/visual materials, or print periodicals on your topic, conduct a keyword or subject search in the Library Catalog.

Try synonyms and related terms:

urban   OR   hip-hop
square dance   OR   country dance
en pointe   OR   point work 

From the information you find in the Catalog, be sure to note:

  • the Location of the item in the Library Building 
  • the item's Call Number 
  • whether the item is available or has been checked out

To become more familiar with finding materials in the Library's print collection, here's a guide to using Library of Congress call numbers:

The library circulates several hundred books on dance, dancers, and choreographers.  These are some general works:

  • Adversaries of Dance: From the Puritans to the Present
  • Art Without Boundaries: The World of Modern Dance
  • Ballet & Modern Dance: A Concise History
  • Black Dance: From 1619 to Today
  • Broadway, the Golden Years: Jerome Robbins & the Great Choreographer-Directors, 1940 to the Present
  • Century of Dance
  • The Dance in America
  • Dance Makers: Conversations with American Choreographers
  • Dancing
  • Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance
  • Dancing Through History
  • Dancing Women: Female Bodies on Stage
  • Jazz Dance: The Story of American Vernacular Dance
  • Moving History/Dancing Cultures: A Dance History Reader
  • Moving Toward Life: Five Decades of Transformational Dance
  • No Fixed Points: Dance in the Twentieth Century
  • Prime Movers: The Makers of Modern Dance in America
  • What Is Dance?: Readings in Theory & Criticism

Library Databases

Click on the links below to search for articles from periodicals (magazines, journals, newspapers, etc.) and for information from electronic books. From off-campus, you will need to enter the barcode number from the back of your Truxal Library card to access these resources.

Academic Video Online
Includes Dance in Video, hundreds of hours of productions and documentaries by the most influential performers and companies of the 20th century, plus more

Oxford Music Online
Music reference books and multimedia resources that often describe aspects of dance and dance culture

Academic Search Premier
Articles from periodicals like Dance Magazine, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, Dance Spirit, Dance Research Journal, Dance Chronicle, and more

JSTOR Arts & Sciences Collections
Full text of older issues of journals like Dance Chronicle, Dance Research Journal, Dance Research: The Journal of the Society for Dance Research, and more

Project MUSE
Current full text of scholarly journals like Dance Research Journal and PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art

National Newspapers & The Sun
Current and historical issues of the The New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and more

Scholarly and popular sports periodicals, including Human Movement and Journal of Dance Education 

Ebook Central
eBooks, including a number on dance and choreography

EBSCO eBook Collection
eBooks, including many titles on dance and choreography

Daily Life through History
Historical information about dance in different cultures

Credo ReferenceGale Virtual Reference Library
Information about dance and choreography–in the U.S. and in other cultures–from an array of reference eBooks

Searching for Full Text


Use the library's Finding Articles from Citations page, which is part of the Finding Materials from Citations Guide.

For assistance, contact the reference desk at 410-777-2456 or

Print Reference Materials

Find these materials in the Reference Section of Truxal Library:

  • The Art of Teaching Ballet: Ten Twentieth-Century Masters  (Ref) GV1788.5 .W27 1996
  • The Complete Guide to Modern Dance  (Ref) GV1783 .M26 1976
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Ballet  (Ref) GV1585 .K6313 1982
  • A Core Collection in Dance  (Ref) GV1594 .C77 2001
  • Current Biography  (Ref) CT100 .C8
  • The Dance Encyclopedia  (Ref) GV1585 .C5
  • The Dance Handbook  (Ref) GV1601 .R63 1990
  • Dance on Camera  (Ref) GV1595 .D342 1998
  • Dictionary of Ballet  (Ref) GV1585 .W5
  • The Encyclopedia of World Ballet  (Ref) GV1585 .S66 2015
  • Fifty Contemporary Choreographers  (Ref) GV1785.A1 B74 2000
  • Film Choreographers & Dance Directors  (Ref) GV1779 .B55 1997
  • International Encyclopedia of Dance  (Ref) GV1585 .I586 1998
  • The Oxford Dictionary of Dance  (Ref) GV1585 .C78 2000
  • Prime Movers: The Makers of Modern Dance in America  (Ref)  GV1785 .A1 M34 2000
  • The Square Dance & Contra Dance Handbook  (Ref)  GV1763 .G86 1996

Select Audio/Visual Materials

Students may check out videos and DVDs but must view these materials in the library. Find videos and DVDs on shelves near the Circulation Desk. 
  • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater  (DVD) 11409
  • American Ballet Theater: A History
  • Balanchine: The Father of American Ballet  (DVD) 10068
  • Ballet Favorites  (VID) 09375
  • Baryshnikov by Tharp  (VID) 09693
  • Baryshnikov Dances Sinatra & More  (DVD) 09908
  • Basic Anatomy & Kinesiology: Especially for Dancers  (DVD) 10057
  • Bill T. Jones: A Good Man  (DVD) 11392
  • Bill T. Jones: Dancing to the Promised Land   (VID) 07430
  • Born to Be Wild: The Leading Men of American Ballet Theater  (DVD) 09585
  • Dance Black America  (VID) 07425
  • Dancemaker (VID) 08751
  • Dance Theatre of Harlem (DVD) 11471
  • Dancetime!: 500 Years of Social Dance  (VID) 07817
  • Dancing for Mr. B: Six Balanchine Ballerinas  (DVD) 11157
  • Debonair Dancers  (VID) 00714
  • Dein Perry’s Tap Dogs  (VID) 08441
  • Denishawn: The Contributions of American Dance Pioneers Ruth St. Denis & Ted Shawn  (DVD) 11275
  • Folklórico: Ballet Folklórico de México  (VID) 06906
  • Fosse  (DVD) 09158
  • Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer  (DVD) 09865
  • Go for What You Know  (VID) 09588
  • Hanya: Portrait of a Dance Pioneer  (VID) 09586
  • Isadora Duncan: Movement from the Soul  (DVD) 11246
  • Jiri Kylian’s Black & White Ballets  (DVD) 10003
  • José Limón: Three Modern Dance Classics  (DVD) 11279
  • Martha Graham: Dance on Film (DVD) 11408
  • Martha Graham: The Dancer Revealed  (VID) 07097
  • Martha Graham: In Performance  (DVD) 09994
  • The Men Who Danced: Ted Shawn, 1891-1972   (DVD) 11092
  • Merce Cunningham: Dance Company  (DVD) 11413
  • Merce Cunningham: A Lifetime of Dance  (DVD) 11250
  • Nureyev  (DVD) 11281
  • Paris Dances Diaghilev  (VID) 07429
  • Pavlova: A Woman for All Time  (VID) 09377
  • Riverdance: The Show  (DVD) 11107
  • Steps of the Gods  (VID) 09587
  • Suzanne Farrell: Elusive Muse  (DVD) 10009
  • A Taste of Salsa  (VID) 08685
  • That’s Dancing  (DVD) 11103
  • A Tribute to Alvin Ailey  (DVD) 11254
  • Variety & Virtuosity: American Ballet Theater Now  (DVD) 10067
  • The Wrecker’s Ball: Three Dances by Paul Taylor  (VID) 07427 

The library’s collection also contains instructional videos and DVDs for ballet, jazz, breakdancing, and more. Additionally, the library has performances of ballets, like Swan Lake, La Sylphide, Romeo & Juliet, The Nutcracker, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, and The Sleeping Beauty, among others.

Research Assistance

More ways to get help:


MLA-style and APA-style guidelines change over time, especially for citing sources accessed electronically.  For the most up-to-date information about how to cite sources correctly, visit these pages:

Using a citation generator from a database or website?
Doublecheck to be sure the generator has used the newest rules.


eBook Spotlight: Ballet

Library photo courtesy of Barry Halkin Photography