Choreographers

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Also known as:
Choreographer, Dance Director, Dance Master

ABOUT CHOREOGRAPHER CAREERS
Video transcript

Whether it's a school recital or a professional performance, dancers follow a carefully orchestrated sequence of moves. The artists who create those sequences are called choreographers. Typically, choreographers are experienced dancers themselves. Some may have gone to college to earn fine arts degrees.

To earn fine arts degrees, whether through education or years of practical experience, it is important to have a good knowledge of musical theory and techniques. Even with formal training, writing down a dance sequence is a difficult process. For this reason, many choreographers prefer to demonstrate the steps themselves.

Rehearsals can be grueling, demanding coordination, flexibility, and stamina. However, not all choreographers, especially as they get older, are physically capable of fully performing the sequences they design. Therefore, they need to be able to express their ideas to other dancers so they can properly execute the choreography. Part of the job involves auditioning dancers. You will be expected to be able to make decisions, even if it means disappointing hopeful candidates.

Choreographers find work in dance companies and studios. They are also hired for the theater, movies, music videos, and school programs. While these positions are steadily available, competition is intense. But if you have the passion and the talent, as a choreographer, you can help put poetry into the motion of dance.

SNAPSHOT
Create new dance routines. Rehearse performance of routines. May direct and stage presentations.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
LOW
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
HIGH
Daily tasks

Restage traditional dances and works in dance companies' repertoires, developing new interpretations.

Audition performers for one or more dance parts.

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.

Coordinate production music with music directors.

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.

Direct and stage dance presentations for various forms of entertainment.

Train, exercise, and attend dance classes to maintain high levels of technical proficiency, physical ability, and physical fitness.

Direct rehearsals to instruct dancers in how to use dance steps, and in techniques to achieve desired effects.

Advise dancers on how to stand and move properly, teaching correct dance techniques to help prevent injuries.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Coaching and Developing Others Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Developing and Building Teams Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Fine Arts Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
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.
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.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
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.
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.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
TOP SKILLS
Instructing Teaching others how to do something.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.