USA Career Guide - Dancer and Choreographer

Education and Training Requirement of a Dancer and Choreographer in USA
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Many colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s or master’s degree in dance, through departments of theater or fine arts. 
The National Association of Schools of Dance accredits more than 70 dance programs. Training includes courses in jazz, ballet, hip hop, and other forms. Most entrants into college dance programs have previous formal training.

Training Required for a Dancer in the US

  • All dancers require several years of formal training.
  • Many dancers begin training as early as 4 years especially ballet dancers who start training from the age of 5 years. Many dancers attend formal training classes during high school or attend after-school programs.

Related Instructional Programs for a Dancer and a Choreographer in USA

  • Ballet
  • Dance
  • Musical Theater

Work Experience for a Dancer and a Choreographer in the US

Though work experience is not essential, choreographers usually start their career as dancers. Having performed at the high school or college level, will help a dancer gain confidence as a professional.


Pay of a Dancer and Choreographer in the US

Median hourly wages, May 2010

Choreographers: $18.11
Dancers and Choreographers: $15.97
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics)

Industry Overview

Employment of dancers is expected to rise to 11 percent from 2010 to 2020 while it is expected to grow 24 percent during the same period, according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics.  At present, it is not the dance companies that will be providing jobs to choreographers and dancers but a growing interest in pop culture will provide opportunities to dancers on TV, movies, casinos and theme parks.

Job Prospects of a Dancer or Choreographer in the US

Dancers can find opportunities in:

  • Performing Arts Companies
  • Dance Schools
  • Schools and Colleges
  • Theater Companies
  • Motion Picture companies

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