What is a Choreographer?

Choreography is the art of creating new expressions of dance. Dance is an art which is used in many forms, and a choreographer is the brush to the canvas. Choreographers are the people who inspire with their movements and ideas, and their creative steps make masterpieces that can touch people. A career in choreography is not only fun and fulfilling; but it gives the choreographer the artistic opportunity to express their personality through the creation of dance.

Choreographers are found in an array of positions around the world. A lot of them are instructors at schools or universities. Some create dance routines for music videos and films. They are even used to create routines for cheerleading and skating competitions. Choreographers are people who have a massive amount of knowledge about the human body and its movements. They make a living entertaining others while expressing their own artistic flair.

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What does a Choreographer do?

Choreographers are people who design and direct routines for dance, gymnastic events, skating routines and other types of performing pieces. They may work with a solo dancer, a couple, or a large group of performers.

A large part of a choreographer's job is to make sure that the routine is pleasurable not only for the participants but for the audience and possibly judges, too. He or she must listen intently to the piece of music that is being used, and work out the timing and the feel of the different dance steps. A lot of time is spent inventing new dance moves and editing routines. They also work very closely with the dancers, teaching them by both example and by spoken instruction. A choreographer may spend weeks or months providing direction and encouragement to the dancers, directing practice, inventing and arranging the choreography, and of course making the necessary changes and tweaks to perfect the dance.

Needless to say, there is endless practice involved. A choreographer needs to make sure that the dance is perfect for the audience to see.

Choreographers teach more than just dance steps, they also help actors and singers develop their characters, selecting rhythm and pacing to enhance their performances. Most celebrities have a choreographer to create their signature visual image. This makes them a huge influence on every aspect of the mainstream spotlight. Choreographers need to have a very keen sense of who they are as an artist, but also what their target audience needs to see.

What does it take to be a Choreographer?

A highly skilled choreographer needs to know everything about the body and movement. Most choreographers have extensive dance experience and have been dancing since they were quite young. This can be a very demanding career and requires a lot of confidence, creativity, skill, patience, focus, determination, and a love and passion for dance. The reward is well worth all the hard work. In exchange for hard work, you will not only be able to make a career out of something you love, but also make the audience feel your passion.

Someone who has extensive dance experience and would like to become a professional choreographer can also pursue a degree from university or certificates from accredited dance schools to add to their credentials. This will give an academic perspective on dance and movement, and will add another facet to their career.

What is the workplace of a Choreographer like?

A lot of choreographers work for dance studios, universities and schools. Television and music production companies also use a large array of professional choreographers. Some expert choreographers run their own business as freelancers. A choreographer's workplace is anywhere that they can use their skill to contribute to the performing arts.

How much does a Choreographer earn?

Choreographers' salaries average at around $35,000 a year, with an entry-level choreographer at $16,000. More experienced choreographers can make up to $55,000 a year, and the sky is the limit when a choreographer reaches a level where he/she is working exclusively for certain celebrities.

Learn more about being a Choreographer