National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame

Celebrating 30 Years

By Lisa Schlansker Kolosek

Subjects: Performing Arts, New York/regional, History
Series: Excelsior Editions
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Hardcover : 9781438467450, 288 pages, August 2017

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Table of contents

Mark Morris

Raul P. Martinez

1. Founding the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame

2. Exhibitions and Hall of Fame

3. The Collection

4. The Lewis A. Swyer Studios and the School of the Arts

5. Timeline

Michele Riggi

Photo Credits

Explores the rich history, collections, and significance of the only museum in the United States dedicated solely to the art form of dance.


The only museum in the United States dedicated entirely to the art form of dance, the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame opened in June 1987, after a short preview season the summer before. This unique and special place celebrates its thirtieth anniversary in 2017. To commemorate this milestone, Lisa Schlansker Kolosek has created a rich pictorial history tracing not only the museum's remarkable evolution but the relevance of the museum to the city of Saratoga Springs, New York.

Kolosek tells the story of the museum's origins, from its notable founders' grand idea to the selection and complete renovation of a historic 1920s bath house as its home. Combining a complete survey of exhibitions presented by the museum and the incredible history of the Hall of Fame, which recognizes dance luminaries across multiple genres, this book offers an in-depth look at the museum's expansive collection of costumes, visual art, and archival materials. The book also covers the history of the museum's Lewis A. Swyer Studios and School of the Arts, a leader in dance education. Beautifully illustrated with more than four hundred photographs, this book pays tribute to the immense impact of the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame.

Lisa Schlansker Kolosek is the research associate at the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame and the author of The Invention of Chic: Thérèse Bonney and Paris Moderne.


"The author has presented the reader with a delightful view into this castle of memories that honor so many … For the dance history student or educator, this book is a great introduction to the myriad sources of dance history, and the historian can relish interesting details of the field. The general audience will find it a welcoming door to the richness of dance across time, and a perfect companion for a visit to the museum. " — Journal of Dance Education

"…impressively informed and informative as it pays thoughtful and thought-provoking tribute to the immense impact and cultural influence of the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame. " — Midwest Book Review

"The book illuminates the history of the museum and its founders' vision for a national repository dedicated to the ethereal art of dance in all its many genres. Readers will grasp the importance of the museum on the Saratoga Springs region along with its impact on the greater dance world both past and present. A lovely journey for all to read, especially the dance aficionado!" — Andrew DeVries, sculptor

"Saratoga Springs is a mythical place for dance: Mr. Balanchine parading down the streets with the New York City Ballet performing street theater, tantalizing Saratoga with glimpses of ballets in a freewheeling, improvisational summer parade. And from there it blossomed: the National Museum of Dance was born, giving us the past through exhibitions, providing space for the creative process today, and training the next generation. Dance, the architecture of time, is celebrated by a colorful cast of characters making time flow in tantalizing stories of a one-of-a-kind place. " — Karole Armitage, choreographer

"It has been a privilege and a pleasure to walk through and explore the National Museum of Dance. This museum is always 'in process,' reinventing itself in an ever-changing world. Museums are the guardians of our culture, keeping the ideas and creations of the human spirit—body and soul—alive. The National Museum of Dance delights in bringing art and history into the present—into the dance of now!" — Paul Kolnik, photographer