Job Description:

Choreographers design steps, movements and dances, usually with music, for dancers and other artists to perform.

Job Category:
Tourism, Hospitality & Entertainment

What you will do:

As a choreographer, you could:

  • come up with creative ideas and turn them into dance routines
  • work with producers, costume designers and musical directors
  • choose music, costume styles and props
  • audition and teach dancers
  • record dance steps using a notation system

If you’re self employed or run your own dance company, you’ll also:

  • promote yourself or your company
  • deal with your own tax and money
  • hire and manage staff
  • apply for funding


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of the fine arts
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things (creativity)
  • leadership skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Becoming a Choreographer doesn’t have strict requirements, as choreography is primarily a creative field that doesn’t necessarily rely on traditional academic qualifications. However, having a well-rounded education and certain skills can be advantageous for a choreography career. Here are some subjects that can be beneficial:

  1. Dance: If your school offers Dance as a subject, it can be an excellent choice. It provides a structured curriculum in dance techniques, choreography, and performance. It can also help you build a strong foundation in various dance styles.
  2. Physical Education (PE): PE can help you develop your physical fitness, coordination, and understanding of body movement, which are essential aspects of choreography.
  3. Drama or Theater Arts: These subjects can enhance your understanding of storytelling, stage presence, and theatrical elements, which are valuable in creating dance performances with narratives.
  4. Music: A basic understanding of music theory and rhythm can be helpful for choreographers who want to create dances that synchronize with music.
  5. Art and Design: Courses in art and design can foster creativity and visualization skills, which are important for generating choreographic ideas and designing movement sequences.
  6. English Language: Effective communication skills, both written and verbal, can help you articulate your ideas when working with dancers and expressing the concepts behind your choreography.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You’ll need a high level of dance training and experience. You could do a foundation degree, degree or postgraduate award to develop your skills.

Relevant subjects include:

  • professional dance
  • musical theatre
  • dance and choreography

These are offered by dance schools and universities.


You could start out as a professional dancer and combine this with an assistant choreographer role.

With further training and experience you could work your way up to become a choreographer.


You may find it useful to get work experience with an established choreographer.

You could also develop your skills by volunteering to choreograph amateur dance club performances.

Direct Application

You may be able to apply for work if you’re an experienced professional dancer or dance teacher.

Career tips

When you’re starting out it’s good to have a mentor, perhaps someone whose work you admire, to guide you and give you advice.

Observing as many different types of dance to increase your knowledge of dance styles is also useful.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 28-30 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings/weekends/bank holidays managing your own hours.

You could work in a creative studio, in a theatre, at a film studio or at a TV studio. Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding, you’ll travel often and you may spend nights away from home.

Career Path & Progression:

You’re likely to work freelance on a fixed term contract. You may be able to find full time permanent opportunities with dance companies.

You could set up your own dance school.

With additional training and qualifications, you could teach dance or move into community arts or dance therapy work.