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What is a Choreographer?

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

Daily Life Of a Choreographer

  • Seek influences from other art forms such as theatre, the visual arts, and architecture.
  • 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.
  • Record dance movements and their technical aspects, using a technical understanding of the patterns and formations of choreography.
  • Develop ideas for creating dances, keeping notes and sketches to record influences.
  • Coordinate production music with music directors.
  • Read and study story lines and musical scores to determine how to translate ideas and moods into dance movements.

Choreographer Required Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Choreographers say are important on the job.

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.

Types of Choreographer

  • Dance Teacher
  • Ballet Director
  • Dance Master
  • Choreographer
  • Artistic Director

Are There Job Opportunities for Choreographers?

There were about 6,900 jobs for Choreographer in 2016 (in the United States). 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.

Choreographer Salary

Choreographers make between $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 different U.S. states?

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 & Technology do Choreographers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Choreographers:

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

How do I Become a Choreographer?

What education is needed to be a Choreographer?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where Choreographers Work


The table below shows the approximate number of Choreographers employed by various industries.



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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