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Dance History, Theory, and Criticism: Books

Finding Books

WNCLN Library Catalog
The catalog provides access to the combined library holdings of Appalachian State University, UNC-Asheville, and Western Carolina University.

Use WorldCAT to search thousands of libraries around the world at once.  First set up your Interlibrary Loan Account (ILLIAD) and then use the ILLIAD link in the citations of WorldCAT to request books from libraries everywhere! 

New York Public Library's Dance Research Collection
Extensive cross references pull together material on a topic, person or company whether in books, program guides, videotapes, clipping files, or articles in periodicals.

To begin select "Performing Arts Dance Research Collection" from the drop down menu before beginning your search

Once you have located an item of interest search the WNCLN Library Catalog (ASU, WCU, UNCA) for books or journal titles. Request materials that ASU does not own through ILLIAD (Interlibrary Loan).

Subject Headings:
Use the Library Catalog to find books, films, journals (the title of the journal not of the article), and other materials. Use keywords or select a subject search and enter the following subject headings:

  • Dance
  • Dancers
  • Dance History
  • Dance Criticism
  • Dance Research
  • Dance Anthropological Aspects
  • Dance Companies
  • Dance Early Works to 1800
  • Choreography History

Also try:

  • Ballet
  • Ballets
  • Ballroom dancing
  • Dance Asia
  • Dance United States
  • Dance India (or another country)
  • Dance philosophy
  • Dance psychological aspects
  • Dance sociological aspects
  • Dance studying and teaching
  • Dance curricula
  • Folk dancing Mexico  (or another country)
  • Graham, Martha (or another choreographer or dancer)
  • Improvisation in dance
  • Modern dance
  • Physical fitness
  • Tap dance history (or another dance form)



Library Call Numbers for Dance

The information below outlines specific areas of the Belk Library collection where many dance related materials are located:

  • Dictionaries, encyclopedias: GV1585
  • Philosophy (and theory): GV1588
  • Study and teaching: GV1590-GV1594
  • Dancing as a profession: GV1597
  • Dance criticism, interpretation, appreciation: GV1600​
  • Performing Arts: PN1560 to PN3307
  • Health aspects: RA781 to RA785
  • Sports Medicine: RC1200 to RC1245 (especially RC1200 D35 which contains works classified as "dance psychological aspects")
  • Dance bibliographies and catalogs: Z 7514

It would be worthwhile to browse the materials in these areas occasionally, or when you are working on a project.

Requesting Books & Journals


1. Develop a list of keywords and phrases and do a KEYWORD search in the library catalog. Select titles of interest and link to similar books using the subject headings. 


2. Find book titles in bibliographies of articles in specialized encyclopedias


do a TITLE seach in the library catalog. Open the record and link to similar books by clicking on the subject headings.

Google Books

Google Book Search