Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.







Summer time is a great time to catch up on all that reading we were eager to get to but were too exhausted to after late nights in the studio. Every year my library seems to get bigger and bigger and the more I read, the more I want to know about dance roots and how it’s evolving.

Below, I have compiled a list of some classics, some newer works and a couple of my favorites to get you started; whether you are interested in a little beach reading and just a general overview of certain topics, are interested in starting a faculty book-club at your studio or wanting to build a reference library for your students. Hopefully from this list, you will continue to add your own collection and pass this along to other dance educators to keep the knowledge and discussions flowing within our beloved field. Remember, the more you know, the more your students know and the more information we are able to pass along to them, the more well-rounded and knowledgeable they are as dancers! Enjoy!


Rivera. C (2023) Chita: A Memoir The New Autobiography by Chita Rivera, Haper Collins

Bird, D. & Greenberg, J. (1997) Bird’s eye view: Dancing with Martha Graham on Broadway. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Copeland, M. (2022). Life in motion: An unlikely ballerina. New York: Aladdin

Gottfried, M. (1990) All his jazz: The life and death of Bob Fosse. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.

Grubb, K. B. (1991). Razzle dazzle: The life and works of Bob Fosse. New York, NY: St. Martins’ Press.

Kent, A. (2009). Once a dancer: An autobiography. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.

Kurth, P. (2002). Isadora: A sensational life. New York, NY: Little Brown & Company.

Schwartz, P & M. (2011). The dance claimed me: A biography of Pearl Primus. Yale University Press.

Vaill, A. (2006). Somewhere: The life of Jerome Robbins. New York, NY: Broadway Books.

Whiteside, J. (2022). Center center. New York: Penguin Books



Anderson, J. (1992.) Ballet & modern dance: A concise history. Hightstown, NJ: Princeton Book  Company.

Lihs, H. R. (2002). Appreciating Dance: A guide to the world’s liveliest art. 3rd edition. Hightstown, NJ: Princeton Book Company.

Alford, M.  (1991). Jazz danceology: Teaching and choreographing jazz dance. Marietta, GA:  Dance Press.

Beaman P. (2017). World dance cultures: From ritual to spectacle. London: Routledge

Burridge, S. (2017). Dance, access and inclusion. London: Routledge.

Mordden, E. (1998). Everything’s coming up roses: The Broadway musical in the 1950’s. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Schloss, J. (2009). Foundation: B-boys, B-girls and hip-hop culture in New York. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.



Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and Education. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Gardner, H. (2004). The Unschooled Mind. New York: Basic Books.

H'Doubler, M. N. (1998). Dance, a Creative Art Experience. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.

Smith-Autard, J. (1994). The Art of Dance in Education. London: A&C Black.

D'Valda A. ,Sirico S., Landau R. (2018). It's Your Turn - The Success Blueprint for the Dance Teacher

Mosston, M. (1998). Teaching from command to discovery. Belmont, CA: WadsworthPublishing.



Albright, A. C. (1997). Choreographing difference: The body and identity within contemporary dance.  Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.

Anderson, J. (1998). Art without boundaries. Iowa: University of Iowa Press.

Blom, L.A. & Chaplin, L.T. (1994). The intimate act of choreography. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Bremser, M. (1999).  Fifty contemporary choreographers. London: Routledge.

Butterworth, J. & Wildeschut, L. (2009) Contemporary choreography: A critical reader. New York, NY: Routledge.

Franklin, E. (1996). Dance imagery for technique and performance. Champaign, Il: Human Kinetics.

Hackney, P. (2002). Making connections: Total body integration through Bartenieff Fundamentals. New York, NY: Routledge.

Hayes, E. R. (1955). Dance composition and production. New York, NY: A.R. Barnes.

Hodes, Stuart. (1998). A map of making dances. United Kingdom: Ardsley House.

Lihs, H. (2018). Appreciating dance: A guide to the world’s liveliest art. NY: Dance Horizons

Morgenroth, J. (1987). Dance improvisations. Pittsburgh, Pa: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Smith-Autard, J.M. (2004). Dance composition: A practical guide to creative success in dance making. New York, NY: Routledge.



Curriculum Building

Injury & Prevention

Anatomy & Kinesiology

Laban Analysis & Notation

Nutrition for Dancers

Inclusive Dance

Child & Adolescent Development

Creative Dance             

Dance & World Cultures

Join our Community of Dance Educators By CLICKING HERE

Get instant access to 1000+ videos including full length master classes, "How To" teacher training tips, Choreography with break downs and 100's of lesson plans and teacher enhancement articles

We offer dance studio owners the ultimate toolkit with business building articles, videos and downloadable forms. Topics include help with marketing, increasing revenue and improving communication.

Our Studio Owners VIP consulting services offer one-on-one coaching for a more hands on approach to your business development. Inspiration is only a click away!

Join us this Summer in Las Vegas for an exclusive book signing and photo op with Chita Rivera ONLY at the Dance Teacher Web Conference and Expo


Jessica Rizzo Stafford

Jessica Rizzo Stafford

Jessica Rizzo Stafford is a native New Yorker and graduate of NYU Steinhardt's Dance Education Master’s Program; with a PK-12 New York State Teaching Certification. Her double-concentration Master’s Degree includes PK-12 pedagogy and dance education within the higher-education discipline. She also holds a BFA in dance performance from the UMASS Amherst 5 College Dance Program where she was a Chancellor's Talent Award recipient. Jess now works extensively with children, adolescents and professionals as choreographer and teacher and conducts national and international master-classes specializing in the genres of modern, contemporary, musical theatre and choreography-composition. Jess’ national and international performance career includes works such as: The National Tour of Guys & Dolls, The European Tour of Grease, West Side Story, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, Salute to Dudley Moore at Carnegie Hall, guest-dancer with the World Famous Pontani Sisters and IMPULSE Modern Dance Company. Jess has been a faculty member for the Perichild Program & Peridance Youth Ensemble & taught contemporary and jazz at the historic New Dance Group and 92nd Street Y in NYC. She was Company Director at the historic Steffi Nossen School of Dance/Dance in Education Fund and in 2008 traveled to Uganda where she taught creative-movement to misplaced children. The experience culminated with Jess being selected as a featured instructor at the Queen's Kampala Ballet & Modern Dance School. She has conducted workshops for the cast of LA REVE at the Wynn, Las Vegas and recently taught at the 2011 IDS International Dance Teacher Conference at The Royal Ballet in London, UK. She is also on faculty for the annual Dance Teacher Web Conferences in Las Vegas, NV. Currently, Jess is a faculty member at the D'Valda & Sirico Dance & Music Centre and master teacher & adjudicator for various national and international dance competitions. Recently, she has finished her NYU Master’s thesis research on the choreographic process of technically advanced adolescent dancers and is the creator of “PROJECT C;” a choreography-composition curriculum for the private studio sector. Jess is also faculty member, contributing writer and presenter in the choreography and “how to” teaching segments on the celebrated For more info, visit her website at

1580 Post Road Fairfield, CT © Copyright 2022 by