What world has been constructed for dancing through the use of the term ‘world dance’? What kinds of worlds do we as scholars create for a given dance when we undertake to describe and analyze it? This volume of essays, now in paperback for the first time, the product of the authors’ collective reckoning with these questions, endeavours to make new epistemological space for the analysis of the world’s dances. The essays challenge the very foundations upon which the terms ‘ethnic’ or ‘world’ dance were created. They examine the exclusionary processes of collection and classification through which the world-building of various dance practices takes place, and as a result, how they acquire relative value and meaning. The essays implement a global perspective in order to examine the local, and they work reflexively to interrogate the embodied status of the researcher, ‘choreographing’ new approaches to the writing of history that respond to the exigencies of our global political moment.