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Choreographers Career

Career Description

Create new dance routines. Rehearse performance of routines. May direct and stage presentations.

What Job Titles Choreographers Might Have

  • Artistic Director
  • Choreographer
  • Dance Director

What Choreographers Do

  • Direct rehearsals to instruct dancers in how to use dance steps, and in techniques to achieve desired effects.
  • Read and study story lines and musical scores to determine how to translate ideas and moods into dance movements.
  • Design dances for individual dancers, dance companies, musical theatre, opera, fashion shows, film, television productions, and special events, and for dancers ranging from beginners to professionals.
  • Choose the music, sound effects, or spoken narrative to accompany a dance.
  • Advise dancers on how to stand and move properly, teaching correct dance techniques to help prevent injuries.
  • Coordinate production music with music directors.
  • Audition performers for one or more dance parts.
  • Direct and stage dance presentations for various forms of entertainment.
  • Develop ideas for creating dances, keeping notes and sketches to record influences.
  • Train, exercise, and attend dance classes to maintain high levels of technical proficiency, physical ability, and physical fitness.
  • Teach students, dancers, and other performers about rhythm and interpretive movement.
  • Assess students' dancing abilities to determine where improvement or change is needed.
  • Experiment with different types of dancers, steps, dances, and placements, testing ideas informally to get feedback from dancers.
  • Seek influences from other art forms such as theatre, the visual arts, and architecture.
  • Design sets, lighting, costumes, and other artistic elements of productions, in collaboration with cast members.
  • Record dance movements and their technical aspects, using a technical understanding of the patterns and formations of choreography.
  • Restage traditional dances and works in dance companies' repertoires, developing new interpretations.
  • Manage dance schools, or assist in their management.

What Choreographers Should Be Good At

  • Gross Body Coordination - The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Gross Body Equilibrium - The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Extent Flexibility - The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Stamina - The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

What Choreographers Should Be Interested In

  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

What Choreographers Need to Learn

  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • History and Archeology - Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
Median Salary: $48,240

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.