Choreographers create and arrange dance routines in musical productions. They assign movements and steps to music for performers and dancers across a number of areas.
They discuss with producers, artistic directors and costume designers the requirements of the performance and often assist in choosing specific dancers for certain roles and teaching these steps to the performers.
They have to plan each movement for the dancers, and ensure that they are well rehearsed. They may have to use a form of dance notation to record the movements that they want.
Choreographers may have experience with a few or all styles of dancing. These include classical or contemporary ballet, modern dance, disability dance, musical productions, ballroom dancing, social dance, and non-western dance.
Working hours for choreographers vary enormously. Generally they work long daytime hours practising and rehearsing with dancers. They may work on more than one production at a time and may be involved with evening performances.
Choreographers work in various venues - theatres, film and TV studios, nightclubs, hotels, halls, cruise liners and holiday resorts. Work is mainly indoors and may be situated within a dance studio when training and teaching. Extensive travel may be involved and there may be some scope for outdoor work depending on the assignment.
Choreographers dedicate themselves to dance. They are usually equipped with a huge amount of experience of dance training and prior practical work as a professional dancer.
To be a choreographer you should:
Many choreographers are freelance although some are employed by companies. They may work for dance companies, on productions such as operas, plays and musicals, in films or with pop groups. There may be opportunities abroad, however it's worth remembering that competition is fierce.
Dance UK maintains the Choreographers' Directory for members who are experienced freelance choreographers. This is a resource for producers seeking a choreographer.
Some choreographers supplement their work by continuing to dance or teach. Some run their own production companies.
As with most jobs in the performing arts and entertainment industry, success ultimately depends on skill and experience.
If you would like to know anything about Choreographer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Council for Dance Education and Training (CDET)
28 Commercial Street
Tel: 020 7247 4030
British Ballet Organisation
39 Lonsdale Road
Tel: 020 8748 1241
Battersea Arts Centre
Tel: 020 7228 4990
Upper St Martin’s Lane
Tel: 020 7379 6000
Creative and Cultural Skills
Tel: 0800 093 0444
Tel: 08080 300 900