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Career and Education Opportunities for Choreographers in San Jose, California

Choreographer career and educational opportunities abound in San Jose, California. There are currently 4,000 working choreographers in California; this should shrink 3% to 3,900 working choreographers in the state by 2016. 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%. Choreographers generally create and teach dance.

Choreographers earn about $21 per hour or $44,920 annually on average in California and about $18 per hour or $38,520 yearly on average nationally. Choreographers earn less than people working in the category of Musical Entertainment generally in California and less than people in the Musical Entertainment category nationally. Choreographers work in a variety of jobs, including: dance director, professor, and artistic director.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of San Jose where you can study to be a choreographer, among fifty-nine schools of higher education total in the San Jose area. The most common level of education for choreographers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a choreographer if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Jose 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.


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.

San Jose State University - San Jose, CA

San Jose State University, 1 Washington Sq, San Jose, CA 95192-0001. San Jose State University is a large university located in San Jose, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 32,749 students and an admission rate of 64%. San Jose State University has a bachelor's degree program in Dance which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Cabrillo College - Aptos, CA

Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Dr, Aptos, CA 95003. Cabrillo College is a large college located in Aptos, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,822 students. Cabrillo College has an associate's degree program in Dance which graduated two students in 2008.


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.


San Jose, California
San Jose, California photo by Leslie

San Jose is situated in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 948,279, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Jose, 163, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Jose are priced at $163,800 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred fourteen new homes were built in San Jose, down from three hundred twenty-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Jose are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 28 minutes. More than 31.6% of San Jose residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Jose is 13.2%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Jose residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Almaden Hill United Methodist Church, Almaden Valley United Methodist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in San Jose. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

San Jose is home to the Evergreen Ranch and the Rosegarden Branch San Jose Public Library as well as Almaden Winery Park and Albertson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Almaden Plaza Shopping Center, Almaden Via Valiente Plaza Shopping Center and Foxworthy Shopping Center. Visitors to San Jose can choose from Atrium Gardens, Best Western Airport Plaza and Best Western Inn Airport Plaza for temporary stays in the area.