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Career and Education Opportunities for Choreographers in San Francisco, California

If you want to be a choreographer, the San Francisco, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 4,000 people are currently employed as choreographers in California. By 2016, this is expected to shrink by 3% to 3,900 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for choreographers are expected to grow by about 5.3%. In general, choreographers create and teach dance.

The income of a choreographer is about $21 hourly or $44,920 yearly on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $18 hourly or $38,520 annually on average. Incomes for choreographers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Musical Entertainment in California, and not quite as good as the overall Musical Entertainment category nationally. People working as choreographers can fill a number of jobs, such as: dancing master, dance director, and artistic director.

The San Francisco area is home to eighty-six schools of higher education, including eight within twenty-five miles of San Francisco where you can get a degree as a choreographer. Given that the most common education level for choreographers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a choreographer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Choreographer

Choreographer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, choreographers create and teach dance. They also may direct and stage presentations.

Choreographers direct rehearsals to instruct dancers in how to use dance steps, and in techniques to produce desired effects. They also seek influences from other art forms such as theatre, the visual arts, and architecture. Equally important, choreographers have to train and attend dance classes to maintain high levels of technical proficiency and physical fitness. They are often called upon to direct and stage dance presentations for various forms of entertainment. They are expected to audition performers for one or more dance parts. Finally, choreographers re-stage traditional dances and works in dance companies' repertoires, developing new interpretations.

Every day, choreographers are expected to be able to keep focus on activity when in motion . It is also important that they maintain balance when in motion.

It is important for choreographers to assess students' dancing abilities to establish where improvement or change is needed. They are often called upon to experiment with different types of dancers and placements, testing concepts informally to get feedback from dancers. They also layout sets and other artistic elements of productions, in collaboration with cast members. Somewhat less frequently, choreographers are also expected to train and attend dance classes to maintain high levels of technical proficiency and physical fitness.

Choreographers sometimes are asked to oversee dance schools, or help in their management. and record dance movements and their technical aspects, using a technical understanding of the patterns and formations of choreography. And finally, they sometimes have to re-stage traditional dances and works in dance companies' repertoires, developing new interpretations.

Like many other jobs, choreographers must believe in innovation and creative thought and be persistant in the face of problems and impediments.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Francisco include:

  • Actor. Play parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.
  • Camera Operator. Operate television, video, or motion picture camera to photograph images or scenes for various purposes, such as TV broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.
  • Dancer. Perform dances. May also sing or act.
  • Director. Interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Music Director. Direct and conduct instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups.
  • Musician. Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.
  • Photographer. Photograph persons, subjects, or other commercial products. May develop negatives and produce finished prints.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.
  • Singer. Sing songs on stage, radio, or motion pictures.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Choreographer Training

Saint Marys College of California - Moraga, CA

Saint Marys College of California, 1928 Saint Marys Road, Moraga, CA 94556. Saint Marys College of California is a small college located in Moraga, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,809 students and an admission rate of 81%. Saint Marys College of California has a bachelor's degree program in Dance which graduated one student in 2008.

College of Marin - Kentfield, CA

College of Marin, 835 College Ave, Kentfield, CA 94904-2590. College of Marin is a medium sized college located in Kentfield, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,577 students. College of Marin has an associate's degree program in Dance which graduated one student in 2008.

San Francisco State University - San Francisco, CA

San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132. San Francisco State University is a large university located in San Francisco, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,014 students and an admission rate of 67%. San Francisco State University has a bachelor's degree program in Dance which graduated four students in 2008.

Mills College - Oakland, CA

Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94613. Mills College is a small college located in Oakland, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,481 students and an admission rate of 55%. Mills College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Dance which graduated two and ten students respectively in 2008.

University of California-Berkeley - Berkeley, CA

University of California-Berkeley, , Berkeley, CA 94720. University of California-Berkeley is a large university located in Berkeley, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 35,353 students and an admission rate of 23%. University of California-Berkeley has a bachelor's degree program in Dance which graduated one student in 2008.

Skyline College - San Bruno, CA

Skyline College, 3300 College Dr, San Bruno, CA 94066-1698. Skyline College is a medium sized college located in San Bruno, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,515 students. Skyline College has an associate's degree program in Dance which graduated one student in 2008.

City College of San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

City College of San Francisco, 50 Phelan Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112-1898. City College of San Francisco is a large college located in San Francisco, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 49,897 students. City College of San Francisco has a less than one year program in Dance which graduated five students in 2008.

Laney College - Oakland, CA

Laney College, 900 Fallon St, Oakland, CA 94607. Laney College is a large college located in Oakland, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 13,104 students. Laney College has an associate's degree program in Dance.

CERTIFICATIONS

AmSAT Certified Teacher: Certified Alexander Technique Teachers have completed a 3 year, 1600 hour course at an AmSAT certified teacher training center.

For more information, see the American Society for the Alexander Technique website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California photo by Optigan13

San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.