Lucrative Career in Dance Choreography

Vikram Kashyap

What better way to define dance. As an art form dance is an integral part of Indian culture. India has produced many internationally known dancers. Most of us enjoy dancing and many of the younger people now want to make it a full time career. If one has the aptitude and is willing to put a lot effort this is a very good career where one would earn while doing what they enjoy the most and people who can compose a sequence of dance are called choreographers. Choreographers are artists who perform and teach various types of dance forms. Indian classical forms like Bharatnatyam, Kathak,kathakali etc. or contemporaray like Jazz or ballet. Dancers, who want to be choreographers, usually start their training early so as to build stamina and learn the various techniques. Important qualities of a choreographer are flexibility, energy, grace, rhythm etc. There are many dance associations that award certificates and many institutions that offer courses related to dance. Usually anyone who is good in dancing in general, and very good in a particular dance form goes on to compose dance sequences.

Course Areas

The majority of choreography programs tend to be at the graduate level, including Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree programs in choreography or graduate programs in theater or dance with choreography options. Coursework may include music and dance choreography, fight choreography and teaching methods.

Career Options

Choreographers, who are often former professional dancers, create new dance and performance routines. They can find work in various creative venues, including ballets, musicals, parades, gymnastics and dance shows. About 40 percent of dancers work in performing arts companies, and about 78 percent of choreographers work in other schools and institutions, which include dance and fine arts schools. Many of the major full-time professional dance companies have resident choreographers under contract. These companies also invite guest choreographers on a seasonal basis. Some choreographers work for small, regional dance companies. Others find work with opera companies and in musical theater, television, movies, music videos, and commercials. Better choreographic commissions and higher pay for choreographers come with recognition. Some choreographers form their own dance companies. Others become directors, as well as  horeographers, for the musical theater and film industries. Still others become college teachers, usually after obtaining a degree.


Earnings of choreographers vary greatly depending on experience and job type. The median annual earnings for salaried choreographers is approximately 2.5 lacs. Established choreographers can earn more than 3.5 lacs per year. Many choreographers enjoy the benefits of union contracts, but freelancers do not receive these benefits.

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