Acknowledging the contributions of live professional dance to the culture of our region and the world for more than a century

American Modern Dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis, photographed by Arnold Genthe, published in The Book of The Dance, 1916.
Floricanto: Jalisco
Rudy Perez and dancers (L to R) Cricket Ahrens, Karen Goodman, Ian Cosineau, Don Graham, Rudy Perez. Studio photo, late 1980. Source: K.Goodman
Dance/LA. Madeleine Scott (L) with unknown dancer (R). Mid-'70s. Photographer unknown. Don Hewitt Collection.
Modern dance pioneer, Ruth St. Denis in India, early 20th Century. Hand-colored, photographer unknown. Don Hewitt Collection.
L. Martina Young
Floricanto: Los Concheros.
Isadora Duncan. Photographed by Arnold Genthe. Don Hewitt Collection.


We’re proud and delighted to provide this free, online history of live professional dance that has been going on in Southern California for more than a century.

The Dance History Project of Southern California now exists for everyone — from Santa Barbara to Palm Springs, from L.A. to San Diego, and all the places in between. Dance by dance, class by class, and show by show, many thousands of people have dedicated their talent, commitment and spirit to create a rich, complex cultural history that deserves to be known.

This project has now begun. You’ll find articles and stories, photos, interviews, bios, and two large directories of Individuals and Dance Companies/Organizations. There’s also a Forum for those who want to have online discussions about dance. In the Multimedia section, we’ll be adding videos of performances and interviews with people who have been involved in dance in our region, so please visit us often as the website will continue to grow.

We invite you to spend some time exploring the site. You’ll find lots of information that we’ve already gathered and you’ll find many gaps that need to be filled in. That’s why we’ve included a way for you to contribute new materials to the site.

If your name and/or bio are missing, or if you know someone else who should be included on the website, please let us know. If you’d like to contribute an article on a dance topic of your choice, tell us about it. If you know of other websites where Southern California dance histories already exist, we would love to add links that point to them.

We’re excited by what we’ve got so far, and we look forward to adding much more in the coming months and years.

We welcome your ideas and comments.


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