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What Does it Take to Be a Choreographer?

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

Life As a Choreographer: What Do They Do?

  • Direct and stage dance presentations for various forms of entertainment.
  • Design sets, lighting, costumes, and other artistic elements of productions, in collaboration with cast members.
  • Advise dancers on how to stand and move properly, teaching correct dance techniques to help prevent injuries.
  • Record dance movements and their technical aspects, using a technical understanding of the patterns and formations of choreography.
  • Audition performers for one or more dance parts.
  • Restage traditional dances and works in dance companies' repertoires, developing new interpretations.

Qualities of a Choreographer

When polled, Choreographers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Instructing: 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.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

  • Choreography Director
  • Dance Master
  • Dance Teacher
  • Dance Choreographer
  • Dance Instructor

Choreographer Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 6,900 jobs for Choreographer in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 2.9% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 200 new jobs for Choreographer by 2026. The BLS estimates 900 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Choreographer are Nevada, Georgia, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in Kansas, Connecticut, or Wyoming. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Choreographer

The salary for Choreographers ranges between about $21,340 and $97,620 a year.


Choreographers who work in New York, Tennessee, or Massachusetts, make the highest salaries.

How much do Choreographers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
California $70,020
Connecticut $56,080
Florida $48,150
Georgia $51,690
Illinois $35,490
Kansas $39,830
Louisiana $43,680
Maryland $57,070
Massachusetts $60,150
Minnesota $49,400
Nevada $55,100
New Jersey $55,680
New York $85,720
Ohio $47,840
Oklahoma $65,600
Pennsylvania $37,560
South Dakota $31,400
Tennessee $65,990
Texas $61,850
Virginia $58,240
Wyoming $35,000

What Tools do Choreographers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Choreographers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Social media sites

How do I Become a Choreographer?

What kind of Choreographer requirements are there?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Who Employs Choreographers?


Below are examples of industries where Choreographers work:



Image Credit: Jazzart Dance Theatre via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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