How to Become a Choreographer?

7 minute read
How to Become a Choreographer

Did you know that JaQuel Knight, Single Ladies choreographer, recently became the first person to launch a company for copywriting dance moves? All dance performances and musicals are carefully choreographed by professional dancers. These professional dancers are called choreographers; they are essential in the production of dance routines for theatrical performances in the entertainment industry. In this blog, we will delve deeper into their roles and responsibilities, dance education and how you can become a professional choreographer!

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Career as a Choreographer

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Choreographers create new ideas by producing unique dance performances and routines. They instruct and direct dancers and actors in movies, plays, and reality programmes. Most people pursue a variety of dance styles in order to effectively express their creative vision and creativity. A choreographer will usually audition dancers for a piece, have input on costumes, stage design, and lighting, and choose the music for the performance, depending on the size of the production/show. Some choreographers oversee the management end of a dance business. Most choreographers are self-employed and work on different productions or they can work for a single dance group.

Roles and Responsibilities

The primary responsibility of a choreographer is to design and teach dance routines. Their duties may vary based on whether they are self-employed or hired by a corporation, such as a dance company or a production house. Choreographers often have the following responsibilities:

  • Creating new routines or interpretations of preexisting dances by combining movement sequences.
  • Dancers’ steps and motions are taught and managed accordingly.
  • Trying out different dance styles and moves and getting feedback from dancers
  • Organizing and supervising auditions for performances or dance organisations
  • Choosing music to go along with dance routines
  • Creating choreographies that are in sync with the music and words
  • Attend rehearsals to ensure that the dancers or members of the cast are familiar with the routine.
  • Contributing ideas for dance shows’ creative aspects, such as costumes and lighting
  • To stay current and produce creative routines, I study developing dance trends and styles.
  • Attending trade shows and events in order to gain inspiration and expand their professional network

How to Become a Choreographer

Source:  Photo by Carolyn DiLoreto

When it comes to being a choreographer, experience and strong dance background are the two most important things. Here is a step-by-step guide for dance enthusiasts-

  • Start with Dance Lessons and Regular Rehearsals

Many people who want to work in the dance industry start taking courses when they are young. Students can opt for Indian classical dances or western classical dances like Ballet. Contemporary, jazz and hip-hop are just a few of the dance styles available to students in high school and lower. Classes, camps, and seminars are usually accessible through community organisations or dance schools. Most choreographers start their careers as dancers, and taking these lessons may help you learn the foundations of many genres and improve your dancing abilities.

  • Pursue Formal Dance Training

Most dancers start their formal dance training as kids and as early as 5 years old. Students attend after-school lessons and intense summer training programmes offered by dance schools and organisations. This advanced training might assist you in preparing for a dancing profession or college programmes. You may acquire a preference for a certain form of dance, such as ballet or hip-hop, at this time. While choreographers may specialize in one or two disciplines, they should continue to study all sorts to some extent. You can understand different emotions and use them in your compositions if you have broad dance expertise.

  • Obtain a Post-Secondary Degree

You can seek post-secondary education to demonstrate your talents and expertise, however, it is not necessary. Many schools offer associates, bachelor, and masters degree programmes in dance and choreography. Applicants with prior formal dance instruction often opt for these programmes. They can opt for musical theatre degrees and attend related dancing classes. Although not all choreographic positions demand a degree, these schools can help you learn more about dance, including its history and industry. You’ll also study dance composition and improvisation, movement analysis, and teaching strategies to help you improve your technique.

  • Enhance your Professional Skills

Many dancers participate in shows, recitals, or festivals to build a career. These performances can help create a dance portfolio to show potential employers as a visual representation of your dance qualifications and abilities. Working as a dancer helps you to expand your professional network while also improving your abilities. You meet other experts in the area who may be able to link you to possibilities, and you may work with choreographers who may provide you with mentoring or career advice.

Type of Job Roles for Choreographers

Choreographers face strong competition for employment, and the majority of actors began their careers as assistants to famous choreographers or as dance school teachers. However, with advances in the field of media, choreographers now have a wide range of career opportunities. Previously, choreographer job profiles were limited to film and television. Here are some of the most popular choreographer job profiles:

  • Dance Instructor/Teachers: Dance teachers are in charge of teaching individuals and groups how to dance. Their responsibilities are directly linked to the teaching of various dance techniques. They can work in production businesses as well as at schools, universities, and institutions.
  • Freelance Dance Artist: They do not work full-time but participate in a variety of dance performances and activities.
  • Artistic Director: Many choreographers go on to become artistic directors, and their duty is to develop and implement the organization’s artistic vision and focus. They are in charge of choreographing, planning, and directing the performance.
  • Dance Critic: They are in charge of visiting live dance performances/shows in order to write and broadcast reviews about them. Based on their expertise and knowledge, dance critics assess the quality of dance performances and dance styles.

Top Colleges Abroad for Choreography

Top Colleges In India for Choreography

  • National School of Drama, New Delhi
  • Film and Television Institute of India, Pune
  • Whistling Woods International, Mumbai
  • Asian College of Journalism, Chennai
  • Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication, Pune
  • Garden City University, Bangalore
  • Xaviers Institute of Communications, Mumbai
  • Indian Institute of Mass COmmunication, Delhi
  • Annapurna International School of Film & Media, Hyderabad

A choreographer’s pay is dependent on the industry in which they work. Although choreographers who work in films and production firms earn far more than those who work in schools, dance troupes, or as freelancers, they do not have a set salary. A beginner in this field can expect to earn around 2-2.5 lakhs (per annum) which can raise up to 6-7 lakhs (with experience).

Top Recruiters

  • Ashley Lobo Danceworx
  • Bhartiya Natya Academy
  • Rajshri Productions
  • T-Series
  • UTV Motion Pictures
  • Balaji Telefilms
  • Eros International

Tips for Aspiring Choreographers

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If you wish to work as a choreographer, you may use the following advice to help you get started:

Create a Strong Network: Choreography is a competitive industry, but networking with experts in the dance and entertainment sectors can help you get work. Beyond your choreographic colleagues, attempt to develop ties with theatrical professionals, such as writers and directors, or producers and executives who work in television and cinema. Through their creative initiatives, you may develop your career by establishing these relationships and a favourable reputation.

Join a Professional Organisation: Join professional organizations that can provide you with job prospects as well as professional development resources. You can attend conferences or seminars to broaden your dancing knowledge and improve your abilities. These groups frequently provide networking events where you may meet experts in your sector.

Focus on Dance Training:  Keeping your dancing abilities and knowledge up-to-date throughout your career will help you remain on top of new dance trends. Incorporating new or more modern components into your routines might help make them more creative. Employers respect choreographers with a wide range of dance knowledge, as well as the skill that comes with focusing on a certain style. Instead of limiting oneself to certain regions, knowing multiple styles might help you expand your horizons.

Keep Your Fitness Up: Working as a choreographer isn’t always as physically demanding as being a dancer. Staying fit, on the other hand, may help you rehearse your dancing routines as they grow. You may get a good feel of how the routine looks and flows by doing the steps yourself. Rather than only giving vocal directions, you may also use yourself as a guide to take people through these exercises.

Wear your dancing shoes and be ready to become a successful choreographer! We hope the information provided was helpful. Stay connected with Leverage Edu for more educational content and exciting quizzes!

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