Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Why use reference books?
Reference books are encyclopedias, directories, and other similar books designed for east access to information. They are handy and informative, so use them as a starting point for your research. It's a quick way to find out important names and events, get ideas for keywords to use in online searching, and get an overview of your subject.
Most of the print reference books listed below are located on the first floor just above the Pit. Dance books generally are under the numbers REF GV1580-1799.4. Some are in the Ref Stacks on the third floor, however; just look at the call number if you aren't sure. Be sure to ask the person at the desk if you have any difficulty finding these books!
Online International Encyclopedia of Dance
Online version of the series to the right.
The Oxford Dictionary of Dance
The second edition of this dictionary is a unique single volume reference on all aspects of dance performance. The work covers all aspects of the diverse dance world from classical ballet to modern, from flamenco to hip-hop, from tap to South Asian dance forms and includes detailed entries on technical terms, steps, styles, works, and countries, in addition to many biographies of dancers, choreographers, and companies.
These two reference databases below are used primarily for research in music. However, since music and dance are closely related, these sources have a lot of material about dance as well. Give them a try with your topic!
Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online
The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online is devoted to music research of all the world's peoples. Includes more than 1200 essays, entries by more than 700 expert contributors, and hundreds of audio examples focused on world music.
Oxford (Grove) Music Online
With over 60,000 articles written by over 6,000 music scholars, this database is the authoritative resource for music research with an ongoing mission to chart the diverse history and cultures of music and musicians from around the globe.
Grove Music Online is the eighth edition of Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and contains articles commissioned specifically for the site as well as articles from New Grove 2001, Grove Opera, and Grove Jazz. The recent edition of the Grove Music Online contains more than 30,000 articles on composers, performers, conductors, instruments and notation, forms and genres, and individual works. It also provides access to The Oxford Dictionary of Music and The Oxford Companion to Music.