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Career and Education Opportunities for Choreographers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

There are many career and education opportunities for choreographers in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. Currently, 600 people work as choreographers in Pennsylvania. This is expected to shrink by 24% to about 450 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for choreographers, which sees this job pool growing by about 5.3% over the next eight years. In general, choreographers create and teach dance.

The income of a choreographer is about $14 hourly or $29,150 yearly on average in Pennsylvania. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $18 per hour or $38,520 annually on average. Choreographers earn less than people working in the category of Musical Entertainment generally in Pennsylvania and less than people in the Musical Entertainment category nationally. Jobs in this field include: dance director, dancing master, and professor.

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including two within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree to start your career as a choreographer. Choreographers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be 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 Pittsburgh 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.


Point Park University - Pittsburgh, PA

Point Park University, 201 Wood St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1984. Point Park University is a small university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,846 students and an admission rate of 79%. Point Park University has a bachelor's degree program in Dance.

La Roche College - Pittsburgh, PA

La Roche College, 9000 Babcock Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15237-5898. La Roche College is a small college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,425 students and an admission rate of 57%. La Roche College has 2 areas of study related to Choreographer. They are:

  • Dance, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Dance, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.


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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.