Career Choice

WHO IS A CHOREOGRAPHER?

Kareem LaTouche, Youthlink Coordinator

Since the beginning of time dancing has been one of the most exciting ways to express oneself, and as the world has evolved, so has dancing. A famous quote even suggests “dance like no one is watching” as a means of expressing great joy, happiness and freedom of spirit. Spanning from modern and contemporary to ballet, dancehall – and the list goes on – out of the love for dancing, choreographers were born.

A choreographer is someone who invents and creates new dance movements and tells dancers how to perform them. Choreographers create compelling dance routines in a way that translates emotions through movements; choreographers are a special type of performers.

WHAT DOES THE WORK INVOLVE?

A typical day for a choreographer might involve:

• Listening intensely to a piece of music.
• Creating routines for individual performers, sometimes by revising or combining existing movements.
• Providing routines that give entertainment to various audiences.
• Inventing new dance moves.
• Working with dancers and teaching them by example and spoken instructions.
• Directing practice.
• Making the necessary changes and tweaks to perfect a dance.
• Creating dance routines for music videos, movies and theatre pieces.

A career in choreography can be fun and fulfilling, and a great deal of time is spent inventing, editing and practising routines. Choreographers teach more than just dance steps. They also help actors and singers develop their characters by selecting rhythm and pace. Working overtime can be common in this field, as perfecting a routine may take hours.

Choreographers can find work in various creative avenues, including ballets, musicals, parades, dance shows and even gymnasiums. Dance and choreography are part of the Caribbean Examinations Council’s CXC theatre arts syllabus.

WHO IS THIS CAREER FOR?

To be a successful choreographer, you need to be focused, determined and prepared to make sacrifices. Being fit and active are also musts. You also have to be persistent because you will face rejection and may feel disappointed, as there is a great deal of competition. Do not be afraid to be different.

WHAT CAN I EARN?

Choreographers can earn a mid-level salary. You might even consider using this for a second income, a hobby or pastime while earning simultaneously from another job or career.

HOW DO I QUALIFY?

No formal education is required, though a bachelor’s degree in performance or dance would be an asset to attain a higher position in a larger company. Significant experience is a must-have. At the secondary level consider pursuing theatre arts.

WHO OFFERS TRAINING IN JAMAICA?

• The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts
• The Excelsior Community College

Continue reading for more on exciting careers for now and the future. Send your comments and suggestions on what you want to know more about to Angela deFreitas, general manager of CHOICES Career & Education Advice. Email: info@choicesonlinejm.com

Information provided by
CHOICES Career &Education Advice.

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