Society of Dance History Scholars

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The Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS) was a professional organization for dance historians in the United States and worldwide that merged in 2017 with the Congress on Research in Dance to form the Dance Studies Association (DSA).

Founded in 1978, SDHS became a non-profit organization in 1983.[1] SDHS became a member of the American Council of Learned Societies in 1996, and hosts an annual conference, publishes conference proceedings and a book series, and presents awards to new and established scholars.

SDHS includes scholars in musicology, anthropology, history, literature, theatre, performance studies, and other fields. Many members combine research and performance, and SDHS welcomes graduate students, as well as more seasoned scholars, among its members. The society also contains several working groups, which meet at the annual conference. SDHS has close ties with its peer organizations such as the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD).

Since 1988 the Society published a periodical, Studies in Dance History, which was redefined as a monograph series in 1994. It includes various scholarly texts in dance history and is published by the University of Wisconsin Press.[2]

Awards offered[edit]


Descriptions of these conferences, as well as listings for more recent and upcoming conferences, which are now hosted by the Dance Studies Association, are available at the DSA website.[3]

  • 2017 Dancing East Asia: Critical Choreographies and Their Corporeal Politics" April 7-8, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Special topics conference.
  • 2016 "Beyond Authenticity & Appropriation: Bodies, Authorship, and Choreographies of Transmission" November 3-6, Pomona College, Claremont, California. Joint conference with CORD.
  • 2016 "Contemporary Ballet: Exchanges, Connections, and Directions" May 20-21, New York City, New York. Special topics conference.
  • 2015 "Cut and Paste: Dance Advocacy in the Age of Austerity" June 4-7, Athens, Greece. Joint conference with CORD.
  • 2015 "Dance as Experience: Progressive Era Origins and Legacies" March 26-28, Baltimore, Maryland. Special topics conference.
  • 2014 "Writing Dancing/Dancing Writing" November 13-16, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. Joint conference with CORD.
  • 2013 "Dance ACTions—Traditions and Transformations" June 8-11, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
  • 2013 "Sacre Celebration: Revisiting, Reflecting, Revisioning" April 18-20, York University, Toronto, Canada. Special topics conference.
  • 2012 "Dance and the Social City" June 14-17, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 2011 "Dance Dramaturgy: Catalyst, Perspective and Memory" June 23-26, York University, Toronto, Canada.
  • 2010 "Dance & Spectacle" July 8–11, University of Surrey, Guilford and The Place, London, UK.
  • 2009 "Topographies: Sites, Bodies, Technologies" June 19–22, Stanford University and San Francisco, California. Conference held in conjunction with DCA.
  • 2008 "Look Back/Moving Forward" June 12-15, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York.
  • 2007 "Re-Thinking Practice and Theory/Repenser pratique et théorie" June 21-24, Le Centre National de la Danse, Paris, France.
  • 2006 "Grounding Moves: Landscapes for Dance" June 15-18, The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada.
  • 2005 "Dancing from the Center" June 9-12, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
  • 2004 "Celebrating Dance: Celebrating History" June 17-20, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
  • 2003 "Dance History on Shannon’s Shore" June 26-29, University of Limerick, located on the river Shannon in County Limerick, Ireland.
  • 2002 annual conference, June 20-23, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 2001 "In the Moment" June 21-24, Goucher College, Towson, Maryland.
  • 2000 "Dancing in the Millennium" July 19-23, Washington Marriott Hotel, Washington, DC. Joint participation with twenty organizations.
  • 1999 annual conference, June 10-13, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • 1998 annual conference, June 18-21, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.
  • 1997 " '79-'97: Reflecting on Our Past, Reflecting on Our Future" June 19-22, Barnard College, New York, New York.
  • 1996 "Speaking of History: Dance Scholarship in the '90's" June 13-16, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • 1995 "Border Crossings" May 10-14, Ryerson Polytechnic University, Toronto, Canada. Joint conference with the ADUCC (Association for Dance in Universities and Colleges in Canada).
  • 1994 "Retooling the Discipline: Research and Teaching Strategies for the 21st Century" February 10-13, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
  • 1993 "Of, By and For the People; How Dance Proclaims Political Ideals, Ethnicity, Social Class, Age Group Identification, and Regional Pride" June 11-13, Hosted by the Dance Collection, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, New York, New York. Joint conference with CORD, including participation of ADG, DCA and NYPL Performing Arts Dance Collection.
  • 1992 "American Dance Abroad: Influence of the United States Dance Experience Around the World" February 14-16, University of California-Riverside, Riverside, California.
  • 1991 "Dance in Hispanic Cultures" February 8–10, New World School of the Arts, Miami, Florida.
  • 1990 "Contemporary Issues in Dance a Global View" July 15-28, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Hong Kong, China. The Fifth Hong Kong International Dance Conference: a joint effort with over twenty international organizations.
  • 1989 "American Choreographers Today and Yesterday: Regional Influences" February 17-19, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.
  • 1988 "Ballet Russe: 1909-1962" February 12-14, North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
  • 1987 "Isadora Duncan and Her Context" February 13–15, University of California-Irvine, Irvine, California.
  • 1986 "Mary Wigman" February 14-17, City College, New York, New York.
  • 1985 "Antony Tudor" February 15-17, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • 1984 "Interdisciplinary Perspectives" February 17-19, Goucher College, Towson, Maryland.
  • 1983 "Methods and Resources in Dance History" February 11-14, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
  • 1982 annual conference, February 13-15, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Note: This conference did not have a specific theme, but the program is mistakenly entitled the "Fourth Annual Conference."
  • 1981 "A Bicentennial Celebration: Dance as Social and Popular Entertainment" June 22-28, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California. Joint conference with ADG and CORD.
  • 1980 "Western Dance History" February 15-17, Barnard College, New York, New York.
  • 1979 "Western Dance History: Resources and Teaching Methods" February 16-18, Barnard College, New York, New York.
  • 1978 "Dance History Education on the College Level" 8 April, Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut.

Working Groups[edit]

  • Dance History Teachers
  • Early Dance
  • Dance and Technology
  • Dancing the long nineteenth century
  • Popular, Social and Vernacular Dance
  • Practice-as-Research
  • Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Dance Studies
  • Students in SDHS


  1. ^ Kolcio, Katja (Spring 2007). "A pillar supporting research in dance for 40 years". CORD Newsletter. Congress on Research in Dance. XXVII (1).
  2. ^ Studies in Dance History
  3. ^ Past conferences of DSA, SDHS, and CORD.