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The Mission of the National Museum of Dance is to cultivate, promote, foster, and develop amongst its members and the community at large, the appreciation, understanding, taste and love of dance and its history, and to provide the means for popular instruction and enjoyment thereof; to collect, classify, preserve and protect records, articles and subjects of historic interest; to select, annually, one or more individuals, corporations, dance companies, associations or other institutions as honorees to be named in the National Museum of Dance Hall of Fame.
The Museum is an all-inclusive institution, related to a diversity of professional dance forms, and representing dance from a diversity of cultural, religious, gender, and class segments/backgrounds of society.
The National Museum of Dance & Hall of Fame was established in 1986 as the only museum in the nation and one of the few in the world that is dedicated entirely to the art of dance. The Museum is located in the former Washington Bathhouse, a historic building in the Saratoga Spa State Park. The Museum's archives house a growing collection of photographs, videos, costumes, documents, biographies and artifacts that honor all forms of dance throughout history. Available to the public is a Resource Room, which offers thousands of books, periodicals, and print items for dance research. Throughout the building's many galleries are a variety of yearly rotating exhibits and three permanent exhibits including the Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame. Opened in 1987, it honors dance pioneers of all types whether they are choreographers, composers, writers, dancers, or patrons.
The Museum campus also includes the Lewis A. Swyer Studios, a building constructed specifically for the purpose of keeping live dance as part of the Museum's offerings. The Swyer Studios welcome frequent master classes, lecture/demonstrations, residencies, and other programs, as well as the Museum's very own dance school, the School of the Arts, which offers dance classes to all ages, levels, and interests. The Museum also offers a wide selection of special programs, events, and workshops throughout the calendar year.