Last updated: 24 Feb 2023, 15:13

A choreographer creates and arranges movement and dancing in live, filmed, theatrical and televised musical productions.

Girls learning ballet

Choreography is the designing of dance movements, sequences and routines. Choreographers interpret moods from musical pieces and scripts and combine their creativity and knowledge of different dance types to devise original routines for the stage and television. They train and teach individual dancers and dance troupes to prepare them for every aspect of a performance.

Choreographers work in theatres (some as directors as well) or with opera companies as resident dance experts. Some work for smaller dance companies or have their own dance schools/studio.

Work activities

  • Studying types and aspects of dance to be used in performances.
  • Creative interpretation of scripts and music.
  • Directing in musical companies; instructing and advising dancers.
  • Ensuring moves and techniques are being performed safely.
  • Leading rehearsals.

Work conditions

Travel: may be frequent; choreographers have to go where the work is. International travel may be involved for recognised choreographers.
Working hours: can be long, irregular and unsociable when working towards deadlines.
Location: most vacancies are found in big cities where television and musical theatre industries are based, making relocation highly likely.

Entry requirements

Most choreographers have an extensive formal dance training background and are very experienced in performance. A bachelor degree in dance or theatre studies may be useful. Making contacts within the business can help in progression from dancer to choreographer.

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