Dance is regarded as a cultural expression that reflects the people and society. Ethnic dances are performed all around the world to celebrate small or big events.

Similarly, native Americans regard dancing as an esteemed exercise that brings people together in joy – almost every culture has a distinct celebratory movement.

Dancing has transcended culture and traditions; it is now an integral part of American society. In the last decade or so, we've seen musical artists up the ante with well-choreographed music videos.

Then, we all saw Dancing with the Stars become a global phenomenon. And now, because of TikTok and Fortnite, dancing has become the flavor of choice for the current generation.

People do not just dance to celebrate the joy, but they also dance to express their blues by depicting sad stories on stage.

Hence, dancing has a vast effect on a person's mood, proven through a study in Psychotherapy.

Therefore, some therapies involve dancing practices to improve mood and treat anxiety and depression.

Read on as we discuss more choreography and how you can get into it:

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Choreography In America

Dance moves are created, and you will be surprised to know that some of the most popular genres were invented in the United States. This includes:

  • Jazz
  • Contra dance
  • Cakewalk
  • Clogging

Nowadays, coming up with new dances can be a viable career option, and the people who opt for this job are choreographers.

These people craft dance routines and sequences for other people to perform. As a result, the dance you watch on a stage, in a movie, or in a music video is not impromptu.

An entire team, including, sometimes a single choreographer or other times, a team of choreographers working together to produce a masterpiece.

What Qualifications Does A Choreographer Need?

You do not require any specific degree, choreographic qualifications, or certification to opt for a career in dance choreography because it is a purely skill-based field.

We're all working to make money; some become bankers and lawyers, while others try to pursue creative fields.

Older people frown upon careers such as choreography, djing, YouTubing, or music. However, there is no difference between the banker and the musician if they're both making money while doing something they enjoy.

People with choreography jobs are the ones who were eager dancers during high school and college – these could be former ballet dancers.

What Do Employers Look At?

When you apply for choreography jobs and start auditioning, you will find that employers do not care for your education or college and university grades.

Instead, they assess your dance background alongside any prior professional, school, or extra-curricular experience you may have with dancing.

Moreover, these judges are looking to hire for TV shows, movies, award shows, and private establishments. Therefore, they are looking for skill but also experience.

As a result, they prefer former performers over those with the same skill level but less experience. However, that doesn't mean that someone with excellent dancing capabilities will be ignored for a former performer with average skills.

Choreography Job Description

Choreography jobs require the incumbent to carry out responsibilities similar to a sports coach. They both prepare other people for athletic performances and routine management.

Later in their career, most dancers shift from dancing to start a career in dance choreography, whereas others come from the fields of theatrical directing or performance art.

A choreographer's purpose is to entertain people by designing a routine against a piece of music. A team of experienced dancers then carries out these routines.

What for, you ask? As mentioned before, choreographers are hired for entertainment projects. However, their routines can also serve to spread awareness regarding a cause or idea.

It's More Than Just Dancing

Sometimes achieving your purpose requires more than just deciding the dance moves and timings. At times, you also have to take part in creating suitable costumes and backgrounds.

Additionally, a choreography job will primarily require you to invent unique dance moves. But in other cases, you would need to follow a director's guidelines.

Diversify Your Skills

Once you are into the choreography field, you can find work in an opera company, at a school or a college, in the television industry, or even as a freelancer.

Successful choreographers can also open their own dance schools, providing them with money as well as fame.

On the other hand, working as a freelancer would require you to constantly search for work and promote yourself to attract a suitable clientele.

Therefore, becoming a choreographer will have you perfect your dancing skills, patience to deal with amateur learners, and knowledge of audience preferences.

One additional feature that will make you stand out amongst other choreographers is your communication skills.

Furthermore, most choreographers take up extra responsibility to work towards a successful choreography career and gain eminence in the field. They:

  • Form a storyline
  • Select the theme
  • Decide music backgrounds
  • Design the costumes
  • Plan dances
A woman performing ballet dance wearing pointe shoes
The pointe shoes are specially made for ballerinas. These shoes make performers appear more daring and the performance magical. Ballet choreography is one of the most illustrious choreography jobs (Source: Unsplash)

Making A Career In The Dance Choreography:

To begin your choreography career, you must first select a dancing style that you want to specialize in. You can choose from a wide variety of options, with the most popular ones being:

  • Classical ballet
  • Musical theatre
  • Contemporary dance
  • Ballroom dancing
  • Highland dancing
  • Cultural dancing
  • Ice dancing
  • Disability dance

Classical Ballet

This is a formal dancing style that embraces classical traditions and involves rigorous movement techniques. It is famous for its precise motion flow and ethereal qualities.

Modern ballet combines Russian movements and Romantic-French ballet, which was created towards the end of the 19th century in Italy.

Talking about ballets reminds most people of The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Petipa's ballets, which isn’t the wrong train of thought to have.

Musical Theatre

Musical theatre is a complete show that includes acting, dialogues, songs, and dancing. The dancing in such traditional shows is a part of the storyline, conveying a message.

There is also a lot of emotional content in these performances as they try to communicate through the music, dance moves, dialogues, and acting.

Therefore, musical theatre dance combines emotions, including humor, despair, love, and fury. As a result, it can be likened to spoken word poetry through movement.

A man and a woman dressed in traditional theatre costumes
Musical theatres demand the artists perform dancing, acting, and singing in one show. The choreographers who choose musical theatre as their area of spinalization are multi-talented and excel at all the entertainment aspects. (Source: Pixabay)

Contemporary Dance

Contemporary dances include expressive movements. It is a blend of several genres, including:

  • Modern
  • Lyrical
  • Classical ballet
  • Jazz

Its primary purpose is to create a connection between the mind and the body, resulting in smooth and telling dance movements.

The idea behind contemporary movements blossomed in the mid-twentieth century, and fast gained a dedicated audience.

It has now gained eminence, becoming a leading genre that has captured the attention of trained dancers everywhere in the world.

As a result, it is one of Europe and America's favorite dancing styles.  

Ballroom Dancing

Deriving from Latin America, this dance form is synonymous with the region. It requires you to have a partner and can be performed for personal pleasure or to entertain others in shows and movies.

At times, ballroom renditions are slow, and sometimes they can also be fast-paced. For instance, salsa is one of the ballroom dancing styles. 

Typically, during a wedding ceremony, the bride and groom must share a “first dance” as a married unit; this dance is often a version of slow ballroom dance.

Highland Dancing

Highland dancing, which is also known as Scottish country dancing, is a competitive style. It was initiated on Scottish land during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Old-time Scottish royalty would organize the highland games to showcase their physicality, dexterity, and stamina.

This dance is derived from the same custom and was an integral part of it.

Cultural Dancing

Most cultures found dance expression to help preserve their cultural stories, myths, and customs. Some of these include:

  • African
  • Indian
  • Irish
  • Lebanese

For example, some Indian cultural dances include styles such as Kathak, Odissi, and Bharatanatyam.

Furthermore, the religious dances performed during cultural events and festivals also come under the roof of cultural dancing.

Ice Dancing

Ice dancing refers to ballroom dance styles but on ice. The World Figure Skating Championship welcomed it in 1952, and it entered the Olympic games in 1976.

Ice dancing is a meticulous form of athletic and artistic expression
Ice dancing is one of the prominent dancing styles. It is popular in Russia, the United States, Canada, and Australia. Hence, if you’re looking for a career in dance choreography, these countries may have more to offer (Source: Pixabay)
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Dancing Certification 

Choreography is taught and can be chosen as a majors option, but only when studying dance theory at a reputable institute.

However, you can also sign up for independent dance performance courses. There are also different levels of qualification in these performing arts and dance courses.

These include the National Certification, Higher National Certification, Higher National Diploma, and degree.

How Much Does A Choreographer Earn?

A choreographer’s salary depends on the nature of their work and experience. A freelance choreographer would earn an amount completely different from one on a contract.

Furthermore, both these individuals would earn less than the choreographer who has their own studio or dancing business.

The difference in the salary also depends on other factors like:

  • Previous clients
  • Reputation
  • The scale of the organization they work for

Similarly, there will also be a difference in the working hours, as a choreographer working at a company might have to work for longer hours than a choreographer teaching dancing at a school.

What Should A Choreographer Be Ready For?

If you opt for any of the mentioned choreography careers, you must make sure you never skip exercises and stick to your fitness routine.

Being in shape is one of the only prerequisites required to become a full-time dance instructor. You also need to have great stamina as dancing for a whole day demands physical energy. 

Travelling can also be a big part of your choreography career, and you might have to stay away from home for many days.

Choreography Requirements

Becoming a choreographer requires you to have:

  • A fit body
  • Excellent dancing capability
  • Creative imagination
  • Great knowledge of dance moves
  • Flexible taste in music
  • A decent memory
  • Basic familiarity with the human anatomy
  • Notable spatial awareness
  • A decent understanding of music, including timings and sense of rhythm in music compositions

Why And How To Become A Choreographer

A choreographer could furthermore extend their career to become a psychotherapist. These psychotherapists run dance movement therapies by providing their clients with a therapeutic environment.

Apart from a very bright future in psychotherapy and an equally illustrious present in choreography, you can explore several directorial and management roles in creative fields.

Therefore, there are some disadvantages but more advantages of becoming a choreographer.

However, to get started with choreography careers, you must learn to teach dancing, and where better to find a tutor than Superprof?

Superprof offers vast directories of tutors in any given region and for any given discipline. Sign up today and find one near you at an extremely low cost!

Find interesting dance classes near me here on Superprof.

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