Good news! The demand for dancers is UP! So polish up your resume and let’s get you your next gig.
Choreographers use their creativity and athleticism to express stories through movement. They design performances and teach them to dancers for competitions, music videos, and more.
No matter your style -- tap, jazz, ballet -- we’ll get your resume up to par.
In this article, we’ll discuss
Choreographer, Entwined Hearts Dance Company
Assistant Choreographer, Ballet Slippers Studio
Dancer, The American Ballet Theater
The first step to drafting your resume is deciding which resume format to use. This depends on your career experience and skillset.
You have 3 main options for your resume:
Tip: only include jobs relevant to the position to which you’re applying, so leave out any former jobs that don’t fit. For example, do include jobs like Dancer or even Fitness Instructor since there is some overlap.
Tip: Read our advice on How to Explain Employment Gaps on a Resume.
Tip: When in doubt, choose the Reverse-Chronological resume format. For more details, check out our guide on How to Write Your Resume in Reverse-Chronological Order.
For a Choreographer, hiring managers want to glance at your resume and get a sense of the following:
The best format for a Choreographer is the Reverse-Chronological resume format. This is because it shows the trajectory of your career -- how you’ve grown professionally and expanded your work experience and knowledge base. Check out our advice on How to Show Your Job Promotions on a Resume for more details.
Only 2-4% of job applications are successful -- but don’t panic!
Though this number seems dismal, we have a number of strategies to help you become one of the lucky few.
One way to bolster your chances of success is to include a resume summary.
A resume summary is one or two sentences at the top of your paper that summarizes your entire resume. It’s the punch line that gets the resume reviewer wanting to know more.
For a Choreographer career, include the following points in your summary
Here is an example of a bad resume summary:
Experienced Choreographer with demonstrated success in creating stellar performances.
This is a bad resume summary because it is incredibly vague -- what does “experienced” mean? What are “stellar” performances? Furthermore, this summary does not set you apart from any other applicants. There is nothing to tell the recruiter about who YOU are as a person.
Here is an example of a good resume summary:
Passionate and driven Choreographer with 4+ years of experience creating Ballet and Hip-Hop routines. Awarded “Best Hip-Hop” performance by the Dance Awards 2 years in a row. Former American Theater Ballet dancer.
This is a good resume summary because it describes you -- passionate and driven -- while explaining your specialities. The list of awards also quantifies your accomplishments and makes your application stand out.
The next step to drafting your resume is to list your work experience. This includes the name of your position (See: The Right Way to List Job Titles on a Resume), the name of the location at which you worked, and the length of time in which you worked.
Your work experience should include the following:
Be sure to use strong action verbs in each of your bullet points. Here are a few to get you started:
Tip: Don’t start every bullet point with the same verb -- that will get old real quick! Instead, mix it up a bit. If you do use the same verb often (e.g., “created”) don’t put those bullet points next to each other.
Furthermore, write your resume experience in a way that anyone in your industry will understand. Don't use company-specific language.
For example, let’s say you worked at a studio that called “barres” something like “handrails.” Not everyone is going to know what this means, so it’s best to stick with the common name, otherwise a hiring manager may not know what you’re talking about, and if the manager is confused, they’re more likely to throw out your resume and move onto the next.
You should also quantify your resume whenever possible. This means adding a number -- such as a dollar amount or percentage -- to your accomplishments. Quantifying your resume gives the hiring manager a more concrete idea of your workplace performance. For example, say that you “trained 14 dancers,” “improved clientele by 20% through an awards program,” or “won $30,000 for Studio X at Competition Y.”
Tip: One way to quantify your resume is by listing your accomplishments and awards. These can be awards from your workplace (e.g., “Employee of the Month”) or from your industry (e.g., “The Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography”).
For more information on how to format your work experience, check out our guide on How to Describe Work Experience.
Don’t have any work experience? We have a guide for Writing a Resume with No Work Experience!
Skills show the hiring manager what you can do for the company -- without taking up too much space in the “work experience” part of your resume.
There are two types of skills -- soft and hard. “Soft” skills are those that are not quantifiable and are more indicative of your personality. Examples include leadership, problem-solving, and communication. In contrast, “hard” skills are those that are learned through formal education. Examples include computer technology, programming languages, and certifications.
Choreographers need a good mix of both hard and soft skills. Hard skills will include the genres of dance with which you’re familiar, as well as any software programs that you use for administration purposes. In contrast, Soft skills will show that you can lead and instruct others.
Relevant Soft Skills
Relevant Hard Skills
Tip: When completing this section on your resume, review the employers’ job requirements. Try to incorporate some of the language they use. For example, if the job description states they are “Seeking a reliable, responsible, experienced part-time Dance Instructor to teach children ages 2 to 10 years old age appropriate Tap and Ballet at multiple preschools and daycares” then be sure to include some of these keywords. List “Reliable” and “Disciplined” under the skills section.
If you want a more complete list of skills, read our guide on 100+ Key Skills for a Resume in 2021 with Examples for any Job.
While formal education like college or a trade school isn’t strictly necessary for a Choreographer, it certainly doesn’t hurt! If you have it, include it. If not, don’t sweat it.
Most dancers and choreographers learn on the job, and require years of extensive and intensive training. However, some employers may require that you be certified as a dance instructor. We’ll discuss this in more detail in the next section.
When writing your education section, be sure to include:
Still uncertain on what to include in this section? Review our guide on How to List Education on Your Resume in 2021.
While Choreographers do not require any specific certifications, obtaining a few can show employers that you’re expanding on your skills and diversifying your experiences. Not only are you more knowledgeable, but you’re also more employable.
Here are a few examples of certification programs:
For more information on certifications, check out our guide on How to Include Certifications on Your Resume the Right Way.
Now it’s time for the fun part -- picking the aesthetics of your resume!
Here at EasyResume, we offer several different templates.
Your resume template should reflect the job to which you’re applying. For a Choreographer, try a Modern, Elegant, or Creative format.
If you want to create your own template, read how with our Step-by-Step Guide on How to Create a Resume Template in Microsoft Word.
We’ve done it! Almost.
Now it’s time to get down to business -- actually creating the resume.
Here’s what you need to do:
Start from our resume example to save time.
We can’t wait to see your next show!