Skip to Main Content


General guide to print and online resources for dance studies

Folk, National, and Traditional Dance Resources

This page describes resources to get you started on researching folk, national, and traditional dances. 

Background Information

Browse and Search for Books

Browsing for Books

There are several areas of our book collection that may be helpful for your project. Before or after searching for individual topics, you may want to browse the books in these sections:

GV 1743 - National dances. Folk dances and dancing (General) 

GV1796 - Other dances, alphabetical by dance name 

ML3400 -3465 - Literature on dance music

ML3544 - 3776 - Folk, national, and ethnic music


These musical scores may have information about dances in these traditions

M1627-1853 Folk, national and ethnic music  

  • M1900-1985 Songs of specific groups or on specific topics  

  • M1990-1998 Secular vocal music for children (often includes dances)


Searching for Books

Some books that will be helpful for your project may not come up immediately in searches. You may want to make a list of individual dance forms identified in the encyclopedias above or from Wikipedia.

Also think about broadening and narrowing your geographic focus, as some book titles may not include the specific region that you search for. For the example of Swedish folk dances, you might think about searching for broader geographic areas (Europe, Scandinavia, Nordic countries) or for smaller ethnic groups, like the Sami, along with dance.



Music and Dance

Recordings and Liner Notes in Media Collections

Liner notes on folk music of many traditions are available with recordings available in the Douglass Library Media Collections. 

Search keywords identified from the encyclopedias above in QuickSearch and limit your results to audio recordings or videos.

Videos of Folk and Traditional Dance

Suggested Websites


© , Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Rutgers is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to direct suggestions, comments, or complaints concerning any accessibility issues with Rutgers websites to or complete the Report Accessibility Barrier / Provide Feedback form.