Organized in 1978 as a professional network, SDHS was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1983 and now counts among its members individuals and institutions across the globe committed to the interdiscipline of dance studies. SDHS was admitted to the American Council of Learned Societies as a constituent member in 1996.

SDHS defines dance history in the broadest possible terms. To recover the meaning of the dance event for participants and spectators, SDHS embraces a wide range of research methods. Some are drawn from related disciplines such as musicology, anthropology, theater and performance studies, feminist theory, and queer theory; others employ dance-specific modes of inquiry such as movement analysis or choreographic reconstruction.

SDHS members work in a broad range of different positions. While some are independent scholars, others teach dance studies in departments of dance, theatre, music, and performance studies as well as in other academic departments of colleges and universities. Many are scholar-practitioners, and combine research with performance. SDHS members also work as performers, arts administrators, dance critics, filmmakers, notators, reconstructors, librarians, and archivists. The society especially welcomes graduate students interested in dance research, whatever the academic orientation of their doctoral programs.

SDHS annual conferences feature paper presentations, panel discussions, movement workshops, and performances on a broad range of topics. During each conference, SDHS working groups meet in informal sessions to share information and ideas on their common interests. SDHS also presents annual awards at each conference in recognition of outstanding scholarly work in dance studies.

SDHS publications

Studies in Dance History SDHS’s monograph series, published by University of Wisconsin Press, answers a growing demand for works that provide fresh analytical perspectives on dancing, dancers, and dances in a global context. Read more...

[cover of 2015 Conversations] Issued yearly in early spring generally, Conversations Across the Field of Dance Studies reflects the dynamic and diverse membership of SDHS. We seek to bring you themes and debates current in the field of dance studies and the profession, alongside news from the international community of scholars in dance and related disciplines. Read more...


Conference 2015, Cut & Paste: Dance Advocacy in the Age of Austerity, a joint SDHS and CORD conference, was held June 4–7, 2015 in Athens, Greece.

For conference presenters, guidelines for the submission of proceedings may be found here.

View photos from the conference

To presenters at the 2015 joint conference with CORD in Athens Greece. Guidelines for submission of conference proceedings may be found here.

SDHS announces this year’s award recipients. Awards will be presented at the SDHS/CORD conference in June.

Dance Chronicle announces Founding Editors’ Awards, honoring Barbara Palfy in 2015. Sponsored by Dance Chronicle and Routledge/Taylor & Francis

Conversations call for contributions: Dancing the African Diaspora. Guest Editors: Takiyah Nur Amin and Thomas F. DeFrantz. Note that the deadline for submissions has again been extended. It is now July 15, 2015.

Updated 8 June: Upcoming events

Updated 15 March: Conference announcements and calls for papers

Updated 23 May: Job postings and opportunities for students

SDHS endorses MLA statement on learning another language

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