Dance Choreography
Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Dance Choreography as a career

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Are you a born dancer ? Do you have passion for innovation and a knack for teaching people? If so, career as a choreographer could be a perfect fit for you. Earlier dance used to be considered as an entertainment source, but now dance choreography is a popular career choice among youth.

Choreography is not just about dance, it's about understanding dance well enough to combine various steps and movements according to the chosen music. Dance choreography involves using traditional dance forms and blending them with original dance moves to create a whole new performance. Choreography promotes the expression of ideas through dance, movement languages and compositional forms on the body. In simple words, Choreography involves conceptualization of dance moves.

People who translate ideas into dance sequences are called Choreographers. Choreographers start out their career as dancers. With years of experience in the field they gradually move towards choreography. Choreographers work with all forms of dance, including traditional, classical ballet, modern, tap, jazz, folk, ethnic, and ballroom. They create and arrange original dance numbers, combining steps and movements to form an artistic whole. They may also make changes to older dances and make them innovative. A choreographer is responsible for the composition and direction of dance movement. They must be knowledgeable not only about dance techniques but also about music, costumes, lighting, and drama. Choreographers produce dance sequences and interpret traditional dances for theater, opera, television, movies and other performance venues.

Choreographers and dance instructors are not same. Even though both involve teaching dance, professional choreographers create original dance sequences and teach them to advanced dancers for the purposes of presentation or performance. They also assist in other fields of a production like choosing the music, lighting effect etc. Dance instructors, on the other hand, teach tried and tested dance steps to novice and trainee dancers.

There is no dearth of employment options for good Choreographers as they are required across stage show companies, wedding planning companies, modelling agencies, educational institutes, television and film studios. About 40 percent of dance choreographers work in performing arts companies, and about 78 percent in schools and institutions, which include dance and fine arts schools.

To be a choreographer one has to assist an established choreographer for several years and learn skills such as conceptualisation, visualisation, setting sequences to music, training dancers, instructing them, directing a production and so on. The work of a choreographer is demanding and time-consuming; a professional may spend weeks or even months inventing, arranging, directing practice, and arranging the choreography, and of course making the necessary changes to perfect the dance. Choreographers work long hours including weekends and holidays. Rehearsals may take place during the day or in the evening and even at night. Performances usually are in the evening. Choreographers may also require to travel a lot.



Though a degree is not a necessity, it may help you to understand the intricacies of dance better. Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's and master's degree in dance, and allow for specialisation in different genres. The main factor is to have an inborn or natural flair for dance to succeed in this highly competitive industry. Experience also counts. Usually, Choreographers are dancers with several years of experience in a dance company or theatre or films.

Personal skills

Just like any other Fine arts career, success in dance choreography is highly determined by personal interest and talent. Choreography comes more naturally to some people. An understanding of the symbiotic relationship between dance and music is essential for becoming a choreographer.

Other characteristics vital to a successful choreographer include self-discipline, patience, self confidence, commitment, and perseverance. Above all they must have good health and physical stamina, along with flexibility, agility, coordination, and grace, sense of rhythm, a feeling for music, and a creative ability to express themselves through movement. They should possess good problem-solving skills, ability to work with others. Choreographers must be able to direct a group of dancers to perform the routines that they have created for which leadership skill is required. Choreographers should be quick thinking, as they often work under great time pressures, but at the same time they must remain calm throughout.

Job prospects

With the onslaught of several reality dance shows, the field of dance choreography has become a glamorous profession. Even though the nature of this field is competitive, there are a range of areas to seek employment. Today career options for talented dance choreographers are not limited to movies, choreographers are in demand for various stage shows and even wedding performances.

You could start off by assisting an established choreographer and after gaining hands on experience stand your own as an independent choreographer. Choreographers are found in an array of positions around the world. The avenues in this field range from choreographing for dance schools and studios, concert halls, dance companies, theatres, television production stages, films, event management agencies, educational institutions and private studios. Most choreographers, however, choose to work on a freelance basis with different directors/ choreographers. They also have the option of starting own schools/troupes or dance companies. Choreographers usually work with professional dance companies. Many of the major full-time professional dance companies have resident choreographers under contract. These companies also invite guest choreographers on a seasonal basis.

Yet another group become directors, as well as choreographers, for the musical theater and film industries. Choreographers with business degrees or at least strong business management skills may be assigned to administrative positions, such as theater manager. Some create dance routines for music videos and films. Still others become instructors at schools or universities after obtaining a degree.

Choreographers mainly work with directors, producers, designers and other members of the production team to plan, create and realise the dance or movement design concept. Choreographers work with trained dancers, and with Actors, to teach them the required steps and routine, and ensure that continuity is maintained throughout production. Choreographers are always employed on any film production involving dance routines, and on larger-scale musical and/or dance television productions. Opera and theatre companies may hire choreographers to train actors in dance movements or to design dance sequences. Choreographers also may be hired by organizers of special events such as community festivals, fashion shows, entertainment at large sporting events or spectacles such as the Olympic games, television shows or music videos.


Remuneration is definitely lucrative in this field. Fees are usually based on the choreographer's reputation and the length of the piece. You start normally with Rs. 10,000-15,000 per month. Whereas experienced ones can take home a sum ranging from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 12 lakh in a year. They can earn on an hourly basis and as per the performance. On an average pay per hour ranges between Rs. 1,000 to 5,000 that too based on status or recognition of the choreographer.


Some of best Choreography institutions in India include Sangeet Natak Akademi in New Delhi; Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography, Bangalore; Faculty of Arts in University of Mysore and many more

To get the list of institutes and course details click the link below

  » Private dance institutes

  » Dance colleges

   creative career , innovative career , dance career , film career

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