What Does a Choreographer Do?

Choreographers Create new dance routines. Rehearse performance of routines. May direct and stage presentations.

Typically, Choreographers perform these tasks every day:

    Design dances for individual dancers, dance companies, musical theatre, opera, fashion shows, film, television productions, and special events, and for dancers ranging from beginners to professionals.

    Teach students, dancers, and other performers about rhythm and interpretive movement.

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

    Develop ideas for creating dances, keeping notes and sketches to record influences.

    Experiment with different types of dancers, steps, dances, and placements, testing ideas informally to get feedback from dancers.

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

    Assess students' dancing abilities to determine where improvement or change is needed.

    Record dance movements and their technical aspects, using a technical understanding of the patterns and formations of choreography.

Most days, Choreographers perform these tasks:

    Manage dance schools, or assist in their management.

    Seek influences from other art forms such as theatre, the visual arts, and architecture.

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

    Read and study story lines and musical scores to determine how to translate ideas and moods into dance movements.

Other tasks that Choreographers perform include:

    Design sets, lighting, costumes, and other artistic elements of productions, in collaboration with cast members.

    Direct and stage dance presentations for various forms of entertainment.

    Audition performers for one or more dance parts.

    Coordinate production music with music directors.

    Choose the music, sound effects, or spoken narrative to accompany a dance.

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

Other Questions about Choreographers

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What Tools and Technologies Are Choreographers Using to Do Their Job?

Tablet computers

Stage lighting systems

Personal computers


Chorel Technology Dance Designer

Credo Interactive DanceForms

Music databases

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What Skills Should a Choreographer Have?


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.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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What Subjects Should I Study to Become a Choreographer?
No areas of knowledge found
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How Much Experience is Needed to Become a Choreographer?

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for this occupation. For example, a person in this occupation must complete four years of college and work for several years in industry to be considered qualified.

  • 30% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

  • 25% said they needed a Some College Courses.

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