Dancers and choreographers essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $38,120 (choreographer); $29,453 (dancer)
- 2010, number of jobs: 25,600
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 18 percent
- Entry level education requirements: High school or equivalent
Dancers and choreographers; what they do:
The parents of dancers and choreographers belong to a select group of people who can say “Wow, all those lessons, tutus and tights really paid off.” A dance career and a choreographer career each require a combination of talent, skill and physical strength.
Dancers spend years in training and go to myriad classes to acquire and maintain a high level of technical skill and fitness for a dance career that may lead to a choreographer career. Dancers specialize in various types of dance, including ballet, modern dance, tap and jazz, using movements to express ideas and stories.
Dancers job duties:
- Performing complex movements to entertain an audience
- Auditioning for a part in a show or work with a dance company
- Working closely with instructors or other dancers to interpret or modify choreography
- Rehearsing for several hours a day
- Attending promotional events, such as photo sessions, for the show or event they are participating in
Choreographers job duties:
- Studying story lines and musical scores to translate ideas and moods into movements
- Directing rehearsals to instruct dancers in steps and techniques
- Choosing music, sound effects or narrative to accompany a dance
- Designing dance movements
- Working with music directors
- Auditioning performers for dance parts
Receive Free Info about a Matching
Online Degree for this Career
Dancers and Choreographers job titles:
- Artistic Director
- Dance Director
- Soloist Dancer
- Ballet Company Member
- Performing Artist
- Belly Dancer
- Dance Artist
- Company Dancer
Dancers and Choreographers Education, Certification and License Requirements
Candidates for a job as a dancer or a dancing choreographers begin training as children. While they don’t need an academic degree, the skills they acquire and hone while working on a bachelor’s or master’s in dance can make them better qualified for roles as dancers or a career in dance choreography.
Teaching dance in colleges or public elementary and high schools does require a master’s degree. Nearly every dancing choreographer began his or her career as a dancer.
Some colleges and universities offer a Bachelor in Dance degree, a Bachelor in Dance and Choreography degree, a Master in Dance degree or a Master in Choreography degree.
Dancers and Choreographers programs cover subjects such as:
- Dance history
- Modern dance
- Dance production
- Social dance
Career Advancement Opportunities
Some dancers become dance captains in musical theater or ballet masters/mistresses in concert dance companies. Eventually they may become choreographers, producers or directors.
Dancers and Choreographers Job Outlook
Forecast: 11 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for dancers and a 24 percent growth for choreographers. The public’s interest in traditional dance continues to wane but has been growing in dance as part of pop culture, thus more jobs may open up in some areas for both dancers and choreographers.
Dancers and Choreographers Salary
- 2012 median annual wage: Choreographer — $38,120; Dancer — $29,453
- 2012, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: Choreographer — $57,980; Dancer — $47,923
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: Choreographer — $26,460; Dancer — $19,677
Dancers and Choreographers Major Employers
- Schools (choreographers); performing arts companies (dancers)
- Performing arts companies (choreographers); drinking places (dancers)
- Amusement and recreation industries (both);
- Promoters of performing arts, sports and similar events (choreographers); schools (dancers)
- Spectator sports (dancers)