Choreographers instruct dancers and teach them the steps and movement in a dance routine. The best way to succeed in becoming a professional choreographer is to develop dancing skills and combine them with leadership, communication, artistic talents, and creativity.
There are no formal qualifications required to become a choreographer, however many choreographers usually start off as dancers and many study dance at college or university. A background in dance (preferably as a performer) is more important than educational qualifications.
With this in mind, it makes sense to think that the job market for choreographers is not particularly broad. But that is not the case: there are dozens of places where choreographers can apply for jobs and have a good career path. Can you imagine what they are?
Learn more about the requirements to become a choreographer.
How To Choreograph a Good Dance?
Choreographers need a broad knowledge of dance movements, language and artistic abilities as well as creative vision, total body awareness, physical stamina, and athletic abilities. But, what is it that actually separates an ok dance from a great dance?
Here are some tips from the pros to do a great choreo:
- Study the music: if you know what music you want to choreograph your dance to, start studying. Go beyond creating movements based on the rhythm and beat of the song, and study the lyrics, the emotion, and the meaning behind the song.
- Plan for audience and venue: think about who your performance or event is for. Consider the venue you're performing at as well as lighting, sound, and the overall ambiance.
- Think about dance style: choreograph with steps and dance moves that reflect a specific style. You might try incorporating hip hop steps into a classical dance to mix it up and create your own unique dance style, for example.
- Make something unique to you, try drawing inspiration from your own life and the culture around you.
- Focus on one (or several) of the most basic elements of dance: shape, form, space, time, and energy.
- Work within your range: incorporate steps and movements that are within in your capacity. Perform the things that you feel comfortable doing and can do well.
- Freestyle and let your body respond to the music: play the whole song and let yourself move. Notice how you naturally groove to certain sounds.
- Try choreographing without music and dance in silence: let your body move and flow with different tunes so you imagine what can help you step outside your comfort zone and incorporate challenging moves and dance steps that you might not have thought to pair with a song or score.
- Perfect certain pictures you make with your body, looking at pathways between points, or drilling quick combinations.
- Incorporate the classics: use classical ballet, traditional ballroom steps, or other classic dance moves to mix up your style.
Jobs As a Choreographer
If you are ready to take the plunge but still a little confused about where in Canada can you teach as a choreo teacher, don't worry. Truth is, while there are no official central or major employers for choreographers, there are a lot of creative companies that require such expertise. Dance schools will require several choreographers, as will production companies and those dealing with arts events.
There are plenty of jobs and occupations where you can put your skills to work such as:
- Theatre productions
- TV Shows
- Movies and films
- Dance shows
- Professional dance schools
- Kids schools
- Community festivals
- Fashion shows
- Circus performances
- Large sporting events or spectacles such as the Olympic Games
- Music videos
Many choreographers also progress into teaching, either in the private or the public sector. You could opt to run your own dance courses, or consider running a franchise within a health and fitness club.
Other career options include working as a dancer or actor or taking on a director or management role within the film, TV or theatre industry.
Some choreographers also go on to become dance movement psychotherapists, a therapeutic process which helps clients address their problems or develop personally through dance and movement. You could also work as a movement coach for actors.
If you want to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of being a dance choreographer, you can head to our article here.
Tips for Getting a Choreography Job
While there is no magic formula to land a job in any field, it is true that there are some tips and tricks that can make the job hunt a little bit more successful. In the case of choreography, here are some tips that could help you land a job in the industry:
- Apply for festivals and grants. Believe it or not, there are many opportunities available to choreographers through grants and festivals. These events can be a good way to get some press and a space to invite everyone you have been networking with to see your work live. On the other hand, grants and residencies offer anything from free rehearsal space to development money and performing opportunities.
- Think differently. Have you thought about working corporate events? Or maybe in a cruise line? While these are not your typical dance or choreography jobs, they often have huge budgets and can be a lot of fun. Event companies, fashion brands, and nightclubs all hire choreographers.
- Make your own opportunities. Make your own videos and upload them on social media. Give a free webinar to people so they get to know you. Attend events. Do everything in your power to get your name out there. Social media is an excellent tool not only to give visibility to your work but also gain followers that in return will help you make money directly on apps like TikTok or Instagram. Make sure you are creating engaging content that people will want to watch, like and share so you can grow on the apps.
- Network with the right people. Think about who hires choreographers and network with those people. Depending on what area of choreography you’re interested in, try to find out who is actually doing the hiring. Choreographers rarely hire other choreographers so you need to go a step beyond. In theater, you need to build relationships with directors and writers. In TV and film, it’s the producers and the networks who do the hiring. Connections are key so don't discriminate and make sure everyone knows you are open for work.
Do you have any other tips for choreographers looking for a job? We have one final piece of advice that you will find extra useful. Do you know what we are talking about?
Become A Choreographer With Superprof
Becoming a choreographer and dance teacher with Superprof is easier than it sounds. Our platform works as a meeting point for teachers and students alike both in Canada and in the rest of the world who want to learn skills and perfect their craft.
We have every subject available, from piano to math to cooking classes. And dance and choreography are not the exception!
The great thing about out platform is that you will have a direct pathway to your prospective students who will be able to contact you directly and ask you for information and lessons themselves.
But, in order to start getting your profile in motion you need to make sure you provide them with enough information to make a good decision and pick you as their choreographer.
You will need to create your teacher profile with all the details of your experience throughout the years, the jobs you've had, the courses you've taken, your method or approach, if you have any college or dancer education... Make sure you give as much detail as possible so your profile looks professional, trustworthy and inviting.
You also need to set your hourly rate (salary). Make sure you take into consideration your years of experience, academic programs and courses and your previous jobs when you set it. To give you an idea, the average rate per hour of dance classes in Superprof in Canada is $30 dollars.
Once your profile is ready, students will be able to contact you for both in-person and online classes and you will be able to connect with them on your own terms. It will be up to you to set up your schedule, class objectives and teaching method to make sure the lessons are as personalized as possible.
Remember that reviews are key, so once you start having some students make sure they give you good reviews on the platform so you can reach even more people! It is a matter of consistency, so be patient and start building connections little by little.
Are you ready to become a choreographer and dance teacher with Superprof? Create your profile now!
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