As a choreographer, you would create dance routines and movement sequences for dancers and other performers. You could choreograph stage, TV or film performances, music videos, and even fashion shows or corporate events. You may also act as a movement coach for actors.You would normally specialise in a particular style of dance, for example:
- classical ballet
- modern dance
- jazz dance and musical theatre
- non-western (such as Indian or African)
- disability dance.
You mighty create your own dance pieces, or interpret a director’s instructions. Your work could involve:
- developing ideas and turning them into a finished performance
- planning movements to fit the music
- meeting producers, costume designers, and musical and artistic directors
- choosing music
- auditioning dancers
- teaching and rehearsing the dancers
- recording the steps using a notation system, such as Labanotation or Benesh.
If you are freelance, you would also spend time marketing yourself, finding new work and dealing with your own tax and accounts. Running your own dance company would involve auditioning dancers, hiring staff and doing administrative tasks, such as applying for funding.
- a high level of dancing ability
- a thorough knowledge of dance and movement
- good teaching and communication skills
- creativity and imagination
- patience, stamina and concentration
- an understanding of dancers' needs
- an understanding of health and safety issues
- the ability to work well with others.
Average salary (2013):
United Kingdom: Salaries for choreographers vary widely depending on whether you work on a freelance basis or are employed. Your rate of pay may also depend on your experience, reputation and the production you are working on.
Qualifications and training required:
You will need a high level of dance training and experience. Most choreographers start as professional dancers and often begin choreographing whilst still working as dancers, especially in smaller companies.
Many dancers start training at a very early age, often taking graded examinations and moving on to a vocational dance school to take a three-year degree/diploma or one-year postgraduate diploma in professional dance or musical theatre. Several universities and specialist providers also offer degrees in dance, and some courses specialise in choreography. You should contact course providers for exact entry requirements.