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Career and Education Opportunities for Choreographers in Alexandria, Virginia

If you want to be a choreographer, the Alexandria, Virginia area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for choreographers sees this job pool growing by about 5.3% over the next eight years. Choreographers generally create and teach dance.

The income of a choreographer is about $21 per hour or $44,760 yearly on average in Virginia. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $18 hourly or $38,520 per year on average. Earnings for choreographers are better than earnings in the general category of Musical Entertainment in Virginia and not quite as good as general Musical Entertainment category earnings nationally. People working as choreographers can fill a number of jobs, such as: dance director, artistic director, and dancing master.

There are eighty-four schools of higher education in the Alexandria area, including five within twenty-five miles of Alexandria where you can get a degree to start your career 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 training to become 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 Alexandria 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

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a bachelor's degree program in Dance which graduated four students in 2008.

George Mason University - Fairfax, VA

George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has a bachelor's degree program in Dance which graduated one student in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has a bachelor's degree program in Dance which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD

University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Dance which graduated twenty-two and two students respectively in 2008.

American University - Washington, DC

American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001. American University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,684 students and an admission rate of 53%. American University has 2 areas of study related to Choreographer. They are:

  • Dance, postbaccalaureate certificate and master's degree which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Dance, Other Specialties, postbaccalaureate certificate.

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: Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia photo by SchuminWeb

Alexandria is situated in Alexandria City County, Virginia. It has a population of over 143,885, which has grown by 12.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Alexandria, 124, is far greater than the national average.

The three big industries for women in Alexandria are professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 30 minutes. More than 54.3% of Alexandria residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Alexandria is 4.6%, which is less than Virginia's average of 6.4%.

Church of Resurrection Episcopal, Agudas Achim Synagogue and Alexandria Bible Church are some of the churches located in Alexandria.

Alexandria is home to the Circle Terrace Hospital and the Kate Waller Barrett Branch as well as Marina Park and Founders Park. Shopping centers in the area include Hamlet Shopping Center, Landmark Shopping Center and Arlandria Shopping Center. Visitors to Alexandria can choose from Comfort Inn-Landmark, Best Western Old Colony Inn and Hilton Inn for temporary stays in the area.