Job description

Choreographers teach dance moves and routines to both amateur and professional dancers. They create their own dances or improve existing ones for dance companies, stage presentations, special events, and TV and movie productions. Choreographers teach steps, technique, posture, rhythm and interpretive movement, and they also select the desired music and costumes that accompany a performance.

Some choreographers also perform the dance routines they create during shows and performances.

Duties

    • Teach and improve dance routines to amateur and professional dancers,/li>
    • Instruct on steps, technique, posture, rhythm and interpretive movement
    • Select music, costumes, lighting and other performance requirements for shows
    • Direct entire dance performance for shows, theatre, TV shows and movies
    • Audition aspiring dancers for shows, productions and performances
    • Examine and research new dance techniques, routines and methods
    • Help with managerial or administrative duties in a dance company
    • Advise on how to prevent physical injuries using proper dance techniques
    • Maintain physical condition and build stamina

Skills, qualities and knowledge

Physical stamina
Flexibility
Athleticism
Communication
Teaching
Creativity
Leadership
Persistence
Teamwork

Working hours and environment

Average working hours

40hweek

Typical schedule

Flexible

Some nights and weekends

Choreographers generally work indoors in a dance studio or theatre. Their work is physically demanding, which means they are more prone to injuries compared to other occupations.

Being a choreographer requires patience, especially when working with amateurs learning new dance routines. You will come across dancers of all ages and personalities, and you will most probably come in close contact with them while teaching movements and routines.

Those working in theatre or on tour typically work long and extra hours, which may drag on into the night. It can get stressful when meeting deadlines for large performances.

Salary

Bottom 10%

$21k

Median

$48k

Top 10%

$98k

Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.

Qualifications and training

Education level

Vocational

DVM / VMD degree

Study time

N/A

Choreographers who aspire to teach in a school or college are required to have a college degree in dance, theatre, performing or fine arts. While most dance studios seek applicants who have a degree, they sometimes consider you for the role if you have an adequate amount of experience and training as a dancer.

Previous experience as an assistant choreographer and a background in dance recitals and performances can increase your chances of being hired for this role.

Job outlook

Projected growth
The projected growth rate of employment in the US from 2016 to 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme. The national average growth rate for all professions is 7%.

3%

No of new jobs
The number of jobs projected to become available in the US between 2016 and 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme.

200

Automation risk
The probability of computerisation, based on data published in ‘The Future of Employment’, a 2013 working paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne.

0.4%

Career progression

Most choreographers begin their careers as dancers. If they teach in a school, they might later have the opportunity to progress to different sectors such as theatre, film or TV. There is also the prospect of opening your own dance or performing arts school and becoming a manager.