DNCE 200: Movement Awareness

Researching Dance

Researching Dance

Most Useful

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance with Full Text

This database is the definitive research tool for theatre and dance studies. In addition to all the comprehensive indexing of the International Bibliography of Theatre & Dance (IBTD), it contains full text for top performing arts journals.

Full-text 1936 - Current to current Most
On the Boards

On the Boards is a center for contemporary performance located in Seattle, WA. Launched in January 2010, OntheBoards.tv is an website for HD-quality contemporary performance films available for stream viewing via our university subscription. Filmed at On the Boards, as well as peer theaters across the country, the performances present a snapshot of the new works by current leaders in dance, theater and music.

RILM Music Abstracts

Abstracts from scholarly journals on international music and related disciplines.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1969 to current All
Art Full Text

Indexes over 550 journals covering a wide variety of the arts (film to fashion, classic to cutting edge, ancient to modern) from the US and around the world.

Some full-text 1995 to current Most
Project Muse

Full-text coverage for hundreds of scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics

Full-text 1993 to current All

Contains (EXCEPT for the latest five years) core scholarly journals in sociology, history, economics, political science, mathematics, African-American & Asian studies, literature, humanities, music, and biological, health & general sciences.

Full-text 1838 to most recent five years Most
ProQuest - Arts

Search among ProQuest’s Arts databases

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1985 to current None

Also Useful

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
Academic Search Premier

This scholarly collection offers information in nearly every area of academic study including: computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more.

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1975 to current Most

Covers news and business information, including Dow Jones and Reuters newswires and The Wall Street Journal, plus more than 8,000 other sources providing current news. The Library has a license that allows a maximum of 20 users at a time use Factiva. 

Full-text 1975 to current Some

Dance and Performance Videos Online

Dance and Performance Videos Online

Dance Videos

Jacob's Pillow Dance Interactive

Archive of dance videos dating back to the 1930's, filmed at the renowned dance festival.

Hemispheric Institute

Video channel for performance art in the Americas.

UCLA World Arts and Cultures Department

Vimeo channel for multidisciplinary dance program at UCLA. "We draw upon multiple disciplines and artistic approaches while encouraging students to position their work within broad social contexts."

TED Talks: Dance | Performance | Performance Art | Theatre

Lectures and performances, filtered by category.


Digital collections from across the University of California library system (search for "moving images").

American Indian Film Gallery

An online collection of films by and about Native peoples of the Americas, hosted by the University of Arizona.

Library of Congress Digital Collections

Filtered to film and video.


Documentary films on American traditional cultures.


Documenting avant-garde performance.

Books and Media

Books and Media

Dance Books and Media

Library Catalog

Search our local collection of books (print and electronic) and media.

Other Options

CSU+ (3-5 day delivery)
Search the collections of the other 22 CSU libraries. Find and request books and media directly online; pick them up at our Library in 3-5 days.

WorldCat (5-10 day delivery)
Search the collections of libraries world-wide -- about 52,000,000 books. Find a book in this database, and fill-out an Interlibrary Loan delivery request. Book will be delivered to Library for pickup.

Library of Congress: Search Music, Theatre, and Dance

This agency works to collect all materials published in the US as well as all English language materials, so the coverage on any research topic is extensive. The catch is that the LoC does not lend materials, so try ordering through our Interlibrary Loan office if you find something you must have. The search information offered on this page is very useful in understanding how an academic library collection works.

Useful Keywords

Think about words that describe your topic and the variations of that word as well as artists and groups that are involved in this form. Keywords can be subject to interpretation by a computer search function in ways you never imagined! Try to be specific in your search. For example, use 'modern dance' rather than 'dance' if you are looking for that specific form.

Useful Subject Terms

A more focused search of a library catalog is to use specific subject headings. These are labels used to group related books together. 'Dance' is such a large topic, you will want to think of ways to narrow it down, by time period, geography, style, specific performer or choreographer, etc. Ask a librarian to help, or here are some examples to think about:

Browse the Book Stacks

Sometimes, just looking through the shelves can turn up works you would not have considered otherwise. Using the Library of Congress subject system, Dance as performance is shelved in the GV call number area.


While generally not used for research in most disciplines, due to the visual nature of dance, video recordings of dance performances can be very important in your research. The videos will be located in the CSUSM Media Library using the same call number system as you used to find books on your dance study.

MLA Citations

MLA Citations

MLA Style (General)

What is MLA style?

MLA stands for the Modern Language Association. It is the citation style most commonly used by literature and language scholars, but is also often used in other humanities subjects.

MLA Handbook at CSUSM Libraries

MLA Handbook

MLA Handbook Library copies (LB2369 .G53)

Helpful Online Guides

CiteSource MLA (Trinity College) - examples,  screenshots and pictures showing you how to locate the information you need to include in your citation

Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) - examples of MLA-style citations and paper formats 

Also check out FAQs at the official MLA website...

Sample Papers in MLA Style

Sample paper from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Need Help?

Torie Quiñonez

Arts and Humanities Librarian
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