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Dancer Jobs | Choreographer Job

Dancers And Choreographers Job Stats


Dancer Jobs | Choreographer Jobs

Page updated 3/1/2016


Dancers and choreographers use movements to express ideas and stories in performances. There are many types of dance, such as ballet, modern dance, tap, and jazz.

Work Environment

About 40% of dancers work in performing arts companies, and about 78% of choreographers work in other schools and instruction, which include dance and fine arts schools. Dancers have one of the highest rates of on-the-job injuries.

How to Become a Dancer or Choreographer

Education and training requirements vary with the type of dancer; however, all dancers need many years of formal training. Nearly all choreographers began their careers as dancers.


The median hourly wage of dancers was $13 in May 2010. The median hourly wage of choreographers was $18 in May 2010.

Job Outlook

Employment of dancers and choreographers is projected to grow 18 percent, about as fast as the average for all occupations. They are expected to face intense competition for jobs because there are many more people who want to become professional dancers and choreographers than there are positions available.


Dancers typically perform the following:

  • Audition for a part in a show or for a job with a dance company
  • Learn complex dance movements that entertain an audience
  • Spend several hours each day in rehearsals to prepare for their performance
  • Study new and emerging types of dance
  • Work closely with instructors or other dancers to interpret or modify choreography
  • Attend promotional events, such as photography sessions, for the production in which they are appearing

Dancers spend years learning dances and perfecting their skills. They normally perform as part of a group in a variety of settings, including ballet, musical theater, and modern dance companies. Many perform on TV or in music videos, where they also may sing or act. Many dancers perform in shows at casinos, theme parks, or on cruise ships.

Choreographers typically do the following:

  • Audition dancers for a role in a show or with a dance company
  • Choose the music that will accompany their dance routine
  • Assist with costume design, lighting, and other artistic aspects of a show
  • Teach complex dance movements that entertain an audience
  • Study new and emerging types of dance to design more creative dance routines
  • Help with the administrative duties of a dance company, such as budgeting

Choreographers create original dances and develop new interpretations of existing dances. They work in theaters, dance companies, or movie studios. During rehearsals, they typically demonstrate dance moves to instruct dancers in the proper technique. Some choreographers work with performers other than dancers. For example, the complex martial arts scenes in movies are arranged by choreographers who specialize in martial arts.

Some people with dance backgrounds become dance teachers.


Citation: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Dancers and Choreographers, on the Internet at