The resources listed below focus primarily on popular dance, but will also be relevant to those researching other areas of popular performance, such as music and theatre. Due to the connections between theatre and dance there are also some theatre archives listed that have dance collections within them. If there are any resources which you think should be added to this list, please use the contact form to let us know.

Research Group and organisations

University Programmes and modules


Archives and Libraries

Online Resources

Research Projects

Research groups and organisations
Society of Dance History Scholars Working Group on Popular, Social and Vernacular Dance
Society for Dance Research
Theatre & Performance Research Association
Popular Culture Association/ American Culture Association
Liverpool Hope Popular Culture Research Group

University Programmes and modules
Kingston University  BA (Hons) Dance the course has two modules:
Popular Dance is a core Year 2 module and Street Dance is an optional module in Year 3.
University of East London – BA (Hons) Dance: Urban Practice
The University of Chichester’s BA (Hons) Dance has a Year 2 optional module called Popular Dance: Street, Stage and Screen
The University of Roehampton’s BA (Hons) Dance Studies has a Year 3 optional module called Popular and Urban Dance: from Bollywood to Breakdance
Edge Hill University- BA (Hons) Dance has a Year 2 module called Dance Practice in Context which explores the traditions of global, social and popular dance. DAN2007 Edge Hill University
University of Chester- BA (Hons) Dance has a Year 2 optional module called Urban and Street Dance.
University of Sunderland BA (Hons) Dance has a Year 1 module called Popular Dance.


Archives & Libraries
The UK
British Public Library
The library has a vast catalogue with opportunities to listen to dance music and interviews in the sound archives. Other dance material is kept with the Music Collections and must be consulted in the Rare Books and Music Reading Room.  -London/ Boston Spa, UK.

The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (English Folk Dance and Song Society)
England’s folk dance and song archive includes books, manuscripts, pamphlets, reel-to- reel tapes and more.  – London, UK.

ISTD Library
There is over 5,000 volumes in the library with topics such as Contemporary dance, National and Folk, South Asian dance, Greek, Modern and Jazz, Tap, Modern Ballroom, Latin and American, Sequence, Square and Line Dancing, Disco/Freestyle/Rock ‘n’ Roll, Social and historical dancing and general background reading on Greek and Roman history. Copies of the Dancing Times and Dance Today are from 1910-present day are also available. London, UK

The Mander and Mitchenson Collection
This collection focuses  on British theatre resources from the 18th Century including posters, photographs and news cuttings. The collection includes popular areas of theatre that are less well documented. – Bristol, UK

National Resource Centre for Dance
The collections dates back to the 17th century although the collection is predominantly 19th century to present day. Resources includes photographs, books, scrapbooks and costumes.Guildford, UK.

The Philip Richardson Library (RAD)
The library collections includes books, journals, articles, CDs, DVDs, Benesh Movement Notation Scores and resource packs. -London, UK. 

University of Bristol Theatre Collection
This collection focuses on British theatre history, with particular strengths of theatre in the South West, Victorian theatre, Post-World War II theatre, Live and Performance Art, scenery and costume design and other related artwork.  -Bristol, UK.

University of Kent Theatre Collection
The Templeman Library’s theatre collections comprise a number of large and varied archives of theatrical texts, ephemera, documents and images -Kent, UK.

Uk Web Archive
This is a site that archives web pages no longer available and makes them accessible to the general public through the British Public Libraries computers. –  London, UK.

 Victoria & Albert Museum
The dance collection starts from the 17th century to modern day. The collection has a variety of topics including ballet, music hall, dance in popular theatre and the history of South Asian and Black dance in the UK.London, UK.

National Dance Archives Ireland The archive includes traditional dance, social dance, contemporary dance, ballet, urban dance and world dance. – Limerick, Ireland. 
Musee Carnavalet The museum has over 2,500 drawings, prints, photographs and other sources focusing on theatre, music and dance in Paris. – Paris, France

Bibliotheque Nationale de France This library has over 14 million books, documents, photographs and other sources. The dance collections holds books, graphic materials, set mock ups and photographs. Paris, France

The United States
Harry Ransom Center
This has collections primarily focusing on British and American theatre from the eighteenth to mid- twentieth century.Austin, Texas, USA

Hip Hop Archive & Research Institute at the Hutchins Center
The Hiphop Archive and Research Institute serves to organize and develop collections, initiate and participate in research activities, sponsor events and acquire material culture associated with Hiphop in the U.S. and throughout the world.-Cambridge, USA

New York Public Library
The performing arts collection is known particularly for its collections of non-book materials such as historic recordings, videotapes, autograph manuscripts, correspondence, sheet music, stage designs, press clippings, programs, posters and photographs.  New York, USA

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
This centre focuses on African-American, African Diaspora, and African experiences- New York, USA

Online Resources
An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals ca. 1490-1900 (Library of Congress)

Bibliotheque Nationale de France- Gallica
The digital collection of sources from the BNF.

The Center for Black Music-  Resource page for Hip Hop
This web page provides a list of resources relating to rap music and hip hop culture

British Black Dance Archives
This aims to collate, preserve and share resources from the British Black Dance sector.

British Library Online Thesis Service

British Pathe
This video website is one of the oldest media companies in the world and has over 3,500 hours of filmed history, including clips of popular dance.

Digital Dance Archives 

East London Theatre Archive
A database of East London theatre ephemera provided by the V & A Theatre Collections, East London theatres and UEL archives ranging from 1827- present day.

The Full English Digital Archive (EFDSS)
This archive is the largest searchable digital archive of early 20th century English folk arts.

Harry Ransom Center
The Digital Collections includes photographer Fred Fael’s dance collection with photographs of the Martha Graham Company and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.

Library of Congress:
Library of Congress Online Catalogue
Performing Arts Encyclopaedia
Performing Arts ‘Reading Room’- Get Librarians advice and other helpful links.
Performing Arts at the Library of Congress Facebook Page
American Memory
American Memory- American Variety Stage 1870-1920 

Musical Playgrounds for Kids: The History of Jazz Music

National Resource Centre for Dance Online Catalogue

New York Public Library Online Database
The NYPL online resource area has over 300 databases with option to search in a variety of subjects, including dance. 

NYPL Digital Collection
The digital collection has over 800,000 digitalised images from the library including collections of Dance in photographs and 500 years of Italian dance.

Social Dance at Stanford

Scottish Dance Archives
The collections lists Scottish Dances with instruction manuals available for the dances.

UK Jazz Dance Steps
A video archive of UK Jazz dance steps created by Irven Lewis, hosted on Facebook.

Victoria & Albert Museum
Their Collections have over one million records and 290,000 images on its database.

V&A, National Art Library and Theatre & Performing Arts Department
This catalogue searches through additional content from the V&A collections.

World Digital Library
Dance results

Research Projects
Check your body at the door-House Dance Research Project
British Black Dance Archives
Dancing with Memory
Modern Moves: Kinetic Transnationalism and Afro-Diasporic Rhythm Cultures
Performing Englishness
Project Breakalign


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