Choreographers develop dance routines and create interpretations of dances for forms of entertainment like ballets, musicals and movies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, choreographers are usually dancers with years of experience. If you want to be a choreographer, you should focus on becoming a good dancer in high school, become physically fit, and take classes that help you practice acting and directing.
If you are thinking about becoming a choreographer, you have probably taken dance classes before. But high school is the time to focus on your art and take a variety of styles of dance classes. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, modern dancers typically begin formal training in high school. If you go to college, you will take classes in jazz, ballet and hip-hop. So use your time in high school to familiarize yourself with these styles of dance.
Music and Choir Classes
Consider taking a band class and learning to play an instrument, or taking a high school choir class to practice your singing. Both of these classes will help develop your performance abilities because you will perform in front of audiences at recitals and school assemblies. The ArtsAlive.ca website of the Dance National Arts Centre of Ottawa, Canada, recommends that high school students interested in becoming dancers and choreographers try music classes to round out their performing skills.
Physical Education Classes
Although dancing is excellent exercise, broadening your exercise routines by taking high school physical education classes will make your body stronger. According to the National Association of Sport and Physical Education physical education classes improve teenagers' "muscular strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, body composition and cardiovascular endurance." Practicing a wide range of athletic activities that are introduced in physical education classes will strengthen your body and make you more flexible.
Choreographers direct dancers and instruct them in learning new routines. You can practice your directing and teaching skills in high school by taking drama classes, joining the drama club and participating in school productions, where you can choreograph music numbers for school musicals and direct high school plays. Acting in the productions will give you valuable insight into how dancers are taught routines. The College Board’s career website recommends that if drama classes are not available at your high school you should try to find classes at local community centers.
- United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Dancers and Choreographers
- ArtsAlive.ca: National Arts Centre: Becoming a Dance Professional
- BigFuture by The College Board: Career: Choreographers
- National Association for Sport and Physical Exercise: Why Children Need Physical Education
Joy Dora has been writing since 2001 and has a master of fine arts in creative writing. She has worked as a copywriter for many prominent online brands, and has also taught college composition and high school English.