Choreographers are usually professional dancers who have retired or who decide to create routines while still dancing. Creating dances, directing rehearsals, and collaborating with producers and music directors for stage productions are common roles of the choreographer. While choreographers get to carry their passion for dance and creativity into a potentially lengthy career, they do face some rigorous working conditions.
Many choreographers couple as dance instructors. You can either operate your own school or work in an academy or larger dance school. Your work day is fairly typical. In a full-time function, you would instruct students throughout the day in various classes or dance forms. You could also teach dance part-time or during evening and weekend hours to accommodate a busy choreography schedule.
Full-time choreographers normally spend countless hours coming up with new dance routines, planning out movements, and staging and teaching the dances during production rehearsals. Along with creative time, choreographers often work long hours on the nights and weekends when in the midst of a production. This time includes rehearsals with dancers, coordination with music and sound directors, as well as producers and directors.
Serious choreographers typically expect to travel regularly to get jobs. While some choreographers find work for a particular studio or production house, many must travel to find work leading dance productions. This may include being away from home for weeks or even months at a time. For choreographers married with children, this can make for a difficult work-life balance. Some choreographers elect to focus on dance instruction and only choreograph student recitals and local dance productions to avoid travel.
The physical demands and endurance required of choreographers is high. Many also participate in their dance routines or must show students how to complete dance routines and moves. Directing dancers is also draining, especially in the midst of intense rehearsals for a major production. Not all dance studios and halls are comfortable either. Thus, choreographers may have to put up with hot and stuffy workplaces. In addition, much of the work time is spent on your feet directing routines or managing productions.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.