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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dance Resources

A guide to help students conducting library research on dance-related topics.

Why Use Reference Sources?

Reference sources are a great place to start your research when you need to gather initial information about a topic or get a rough overview of a subject so you can decide what areas to research further. Reference books and online tools are also excellent for looking up a quick fact, definition, or date, and they will often direct you to more sources.

The first section on this page covers general reference materials, and we've split our recommendations by category. The bibliographies are great to consult to develop a list for further reading and get a sense of what scholarship exists about your topic. The second section lists some background and reference books for specific styles of dance.

If you are interested in exploring dance through an interdisciplinary lens - dance and gender, dance and politics, etc. - be sure to look at the next tab for reference materials that cross academic disciplines!

If none of this is quite what you're looking for, try a search in the library catalog for the subject you're researching and "reference", "handbook", "guide", or "companion" to see what reference materials we might have on the subject. 

General Reference

Background & Reference for Specific Dance Styles

Online Reference Tools

We also recommend checking out these two online reference tools if you are looking for more information related to dance terminology or notation.