If you are a choreographer, it will be your job to teach dancers how to perform dance steps correctly. It will also be your job to experiment with different dancers. You also need to experiment with different step moves and dances. You should test the ideas that you have with other dancers in order to get feedback.
If you are a dancer, you will probably go on tour in order to make up for the performance schedule that you have in your hometown. You may perform in musical productions and other family shows. On the other hand, you may perform in a bar for a living.
Because dancers do not have a defined set of hours, there is not enough annual salary information. However, most dancers make around twelve dollars an hour. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the middle fifty percent of dancers make between eight dollars an hour and nineteen dollars an hour. The lower ten percent makes less than eight dollars an hour and the higher ten percent makes more than thirty dollars an hour.*
The companies that you work for play a major part in how much you make as a dancer. For example, you may average around fifteen dollars an hour. You may make this much if you work for other performing arts companies. If you work for other amusement industries, you may make around twelve dollars an hour. If you work for different schools and other places of instruction, you could make around ten dollars an hour. If you work for a bar and other alcoholic beverage establishments, you may only make around eight dollars an hour.*
A choreographer can average around thirty eight thousand dollars a year. The lower ten percent of choreographers will only make around eighteen thousand dollars a year. The amount of money that you make as a choreographer depends on the industry.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Job Description and Outlook
A dancer will spend his or her entire life learning different dances. He or she will also spend years trying to perfect different dancing skills. Later on in life, he or she may work in an opera or even a musical theater. He or she may specialize in folk dance, ethnic dance, tap dance, or even jazz dance. If a dancer is very good and works extremely hard, he or she may dance in television shows, movies, commercials, and even music videos. However, dancers will usually perform in a group. Many dancers do not become famous.
It is a choreographer’s job to create original dances. He or she can even create an interpretation of an already existing dance. A choreographer may work in a theater, dance school, or even a dance or movie studio. A choreographer may also work at a fashion show. Choreographers play an important part in going over performers who are auditioning for certain dance parts.
The job outlook for dancers and choreographers is only expected to grow by at least six percent. This is slower than the average job growth rate. Between 2008 and 2018, the public’s interest in dance will be enough to sustain large dance companies. However, small companies will only be able to offer limited employment options. This is because there will not be enough interested people in order to make a large living in dance.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Education Requirements
If a dancer wishes to be a part of the dancing industry, he or she will have to prove that they have had the proper training. Formal training may begin between the ages of five years old and fifteen years old. Since a dancer has trained all of his or her life, the first professional audition for a dancer may happen between the ages of seventeen and eighteen. Although a dancer does not need a college degree in order to obtain a proper dancing job, it may be smart to earn a Bachelor’s degree or to go to a dance school. In order to become a choreographer, you will need to have a resume that shows that you have had enough dance experience.
Dancers can specialize in only one type of dance. In order to get the dance correct, he or she will spend around eight hours a day in training. For ballet training, a girl will have to begin her training between the ages of five and eight. A boy will have to begin his training between the ages of ten and fifteen.
Although dancing involves rigorous training, it may also help if a dancer or choreographer has had general education training. For example, courses in music literature history and visual arts could greatly help. In addition, obtaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree in dance or fine arts could give you a better chance.
Although dancers do not need a certificate in order to have a career, in order to become a dance teacher, you will need a certificate in order to prove your knowledge. For example, a certificate in dance teaching methods could help you.
The following professional associations are dedicated to helping dancers and choreographers:
- National Association of Schools of Dance
- International Dance Teachers Association
- World Dance Council
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