Definition of Choreographer

Etymology- Greek khoreia “dance” + graphien “to write”
In essence, choreographers are the movement writers of a scene.

Historically, in the Golden Age of film and television, this job was split into 3 roles; Dance Director, Choreographer, and Dance Coach. This transformed in the 1960s as dance on film dwindled, amalgamating the previously conventional roles into one. With the undeniable resurgence of dance content on screen in the last 15 years, we find the role of the Choreographer stacked with a spectrum of creative and logistical responsibilities, and a rate that scarcely reflects this. Choreographers are both creative heavyweights, and Heads of Department.

“They begin to dance.”, “And just like that, Max gets up out of his chair, and starts singing…”, “…and they danced what could be their last dance…”, are all real examples of a few words from different scripts that were transformed by Choreographers into 3+ minutes of creative spectacle on Screen!

  • Collaboration with Directors, Writers, & Producers on the potential and trajectory of a scene
  • Department Budgeting
  • Attending Production & Concept Meetings
  • Sourcing talent- communication with agencies, casting platforms, & casting directors
  • Hosting auditions
  • Pitching talent
  • Booking talent
  • Scheduling
  • Sourcing rehearsal space
  • Music – provide options, edits, composition and lyric discussions in the case of original music
  • Creating choreography
  • Teaching choreography to dancers, cast, etc.
  • PREVIS – shooting and editing
  • Dancer Safety- communication with departments to ensure choreography can be safely executed (ie. Costumes, Art Dept., Props)
  • Delivering Dancer Call times
  • Aiding the Director in effectively setting up shots and in some cases, shot listing

*ALL italicised terms are not yet officially recognized categories in the current 2021-2024 BCMPA.*

“A supervisor is a person who instructs, directs, and controls workers in the performance of their duties”.

 A supervisor can be any worker — management or staff — who meets the above definition, whether or not he or she has the supervisor title. If someone in the workplace has a supervisor’s responsibilities, that person is responsible for worker health and safety.

Stunt Coordinators, Dance Choreographers, Assistant Stunt Coordinators, Fight or  Associate Dance Choreographers, Motion Coaches, & Key Stunt Riggers are all considered to be supervisors under the laws of British Columbia.

Your Responsibilities as a Supervisor

  • Ensure the health and safety of all workers under your direct supervision.  
  • Know the WorkSafeBC requirements that apply to the work under your supervision and make sure those requirements are met.  
  • Ensure workers under your supervision are aware of all known hazards.  
  • Ensure workers under your supervision have the appropriate personal protective equipment, which is being used properly, regularly inspected, and maintained. 

General Duties of Supervisors (Section 117 – Workers Comp. Act)

  1. Every supervisor must (a) ensure the health and safety of all workers under the direct supervision of the supervisor, (b) be knowledgeable about this Part and those regulations applicable to the work being supervised, and (c) comply with this Part, the regulations and any applicable orders. 
  2. Without limiting subsection (1), a supervisor must (a) ensure that the workers under his or her direct supervision (i) are made aware of all known or reasonably foreseeable health or safety hazards in the area where they work, and (ii) comply with this Part, the regulations and any applicable orders, (b) consult and cooperate with the joint committee or worker health and safety representative for the workplace, and (c) cooperate with the Board, officers of the Board and any other person carrying out a duty under this Part or the regulations.
  • Standard First Aid and CPR
  • ActSafe: Motion Picture Safety for Supervisors
  • 5+ years experience in professional dance – high level
  • Administrative and communication skills
  • Working knowledge of the BCMPA