Dance répétiteur

Dance répétiteur article illustration


A dance répétiteur is a professional who assists conductors and choreographers in directing rehearsals and guiding artists in the rehearsal process. They are responsible for teaching and coaching dance movements and interpretation of roles to dancers, as well as preserving the choreographer’s vision and ensuring that every detail remains intact. In the context of ballet, a répétiteur is an accompanist, tutor, or coach of ballet dancers, and they play a crucial role in maintaining the harmony of choreography, music, and stage.

Excludes people working in an educational work context.

Dance répétiteurs typically perform the following tasks:

  • Reconstruct and restage choreographic works, following the original intentions and style of the choreographer.
  • Provide detailed instructions to dancers regarding movements, techniques, and the emotional nuances of the choreography.
  • Lead and direct rehearsals, ensuring precision, coordination, and artistic expression in the performance of the dance piece.
  • Collaborate with choreographers, discussing artistic concepts, historical context, and the choreographer’s vision to accurately convey the intended message of the dance.
  • Modify choreography when necessary, considering the abilities and strengths of individual dancers, while maintaining the essence of the original work.
  • Document and archive choreographic works through notation, video recordings, and written descriptions for future reference and educational purposes.
  • Provide dancers with insights into the cultural and historical context of the choreography, enhancing their understanding and connection to the piece.
  • Offer technical feedback to dancers, addressing issues of form, alignment, and timing to ensure a cohesive and polished performance.
  • Coordinate with costume designers and set managers to ensure that the visual elements align with the original production.
  • Stay informed about current trends and developments in the dance world, continuously enhancing personal knowledge and skills.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to dance répétiteur:

assistant choreographer
assistant choreographer and repetiteur
dance tutor
dance rehearsal director
assistant choreographer and répétiteur

Working conditions

Dance répétiteurs work in dance studios, rehearsal spaces, and theaters. The role involves collaboration with dancers, choreographers, and production teams. Répétiteurs may travel for performances, workshops, or collaborations, adapting to the needs of different productions.

Minimum qualifications

To become a dance répétiteur, extensive training and experience in dance are essential. Many répétiteurs have backgrounds as professional dancers, often with significant experience in performing and restaging choreographic works. Some may hold advanced degrees in dance or related fields. Training in dance notation systems, such as Labanotation or Benesh Movement Notation, may be advantageous. Strong communication skills, leadership abilities, and a deep understanding of dance history and styles contribute to success in this role. Répétiteurs often continue their professional development by staying engaged with the dance community, attending workshops, and collaborating with choreographers and dance companies.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Dance répétiteur is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Dance répétiteur career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to dance répétiteur.

stage director

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of dance répétiteur.

  • Labour legislation: Legislation, on a national or international level, that governs labour conditions in various fields between labour parties such as the government, employees, employers, and trade unions.
  • Intellectual property law: The regulations that govern the set of rights protecting products of the intellect from unlawful infringement.
  • Link between dance and music style: The relation of a practiced dance style with music structure and musicians.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of dance répétiteur.

  • Represent artistic production: Represent the artistic company or production outside your day-to-day activities. Liaise with presenters and their teams. Help direct tours.
  • Help set rehearsal schedule: Develop and communicate rehearsal schedules, taking into account the availability of the physical spaces and of the participating team.
  • Develop a coaching style: Develop a style for coaching individuals or groups that ensures all participants are at ease, and can acquire the necessary skills and competences provided in the coaching in a positive and productive manner.
  • Prepare rehearsals: Decide on the content of a rehearsal. Immerse yourself in the choreographic material and other components of the work. Assemble the necessary technical and material resources and help to set up the rehearsal space.
  • Participate in technical aspects of the production: Make sure that all technical aspects of the production are in place. Operate technical elements in the studio. Observe and check the technical aspects of performances. Assist or stand in for the technical crew or production team. Verify whether costumes and props are available and in good order.
  • Test artist flying systems: Monitor or try flying systems to ensure health and safety conditions are adequate.
  • Maintain safe working conditions in performing arts: Verify the technical aspects of your workspace, costumes, props, etc. Eliminate potential hazards in your workspace or performance. Intervene actively in cases of accidents or illness.
  • Help document artistic work at all stages: Document the artistic work for later reference. Produce audiovisual documents. Write documents such as rehearsal notes, cast lists and cue lists. Write a choreographic notation if relevant. Preserve documents related to the creation and production of the work, etc.
  • Promote yourself: Market one’s own strengths in terms of skills and knowledge.
  • Rehearse artist fly movements: Help the artist rehearse their flying movements using the appropriate equipment.
  • Manage personal professional development: Take responsibility for lifelong learning and continuous professional development. Engage in learning to support and update professional competence. Identify priority areas for professional development based on reflection about own practice and through contact with peers and stakeholders.
  • Help set performance schedule: Take the necessary steps to develop a performance schedule. Help plan the schedule for a tour or performance venues. Respond to any unexpected events. Communicate the schedules to the persons concerned.
  • Work with respect for own safety: Apply the safety rules according to training and instruction and based on a solid understanding of the prevention measures and risks to your own personal health and safety.
  • Work with broad variety of personalities: Be flexible and work with a broad mix of personalities.
  • Train artists in flying: Train artists in operating fly harnesses and flying systems by rehearsing fly movements.
  • Guide performers’ training sessions: Organise performance training by determining its goals. Supervise the performers’ training.
  • Manage artistic career: Present yourself and your artistic approach. Position your work in target markets. Promote and market yourself and your oeuvre.
  • Contribute to the development of a creative choreography: Help the choreographer develop his or her artistic intent. Grasp the work’s identity, participate in the creative process, and ensure a smooth relationship and communications within the artistic team.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of dance répétiteur. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Be in touch with your body: The key aspects of applied anatomy, psychology, nutrition, physiology, and psychosocial studies and how they relate to the self-awareness of one’s body. 

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of dance répétiteur. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Work in an international environment: Guide your career to an international level which often requires the ability to interact, relate and communicate with individuals from different cultures.
  • Follow time cues: Observe the conductor, orchestra or director and follow text and vocal score to time cues accurately.
  • Read scripts: Read a playbook or film script, not only as literature, but identifying, actions, emotional states, evolution of characters, situations, different sets and locations, etc.
  • Inspire enthusiasm for dance: Encourage and enable people, especially children, to become involved in dance and to understand and appreciate it, either privately or in public contexts.
  • Analyse score: Analysing the score, form, themes and structure of a piece of music.
  • Dance: Perform in artistic productions of differents disciplines such as classical ballet, modern dance, contemporary dance, early dance, ethnic dance, folk dance, acrobatic dances and street dance.
  • Manage artistic project: Manage an artistic project. Determine project needs. Establish partnerships. Manage the budget, schedule, contractual agreements and assess the project.
  • Read dance scores: Read and note dance scores (if the choreography is notated or is reconstructed from a historical approach).
  • Analyse a script: Break down a script by analysing the dramaturgy, form, themes and structure of a script. Conduct relevant research if necessary.
  • Teach dance: Instruct students in the theory and practice of dance, recreationally or with the aim of assisting them in pursuing a future career in this field. Deliver correcting instructions that support difference and pay attention to ethical codes of conduct around touch, personal space, and appropriate pedagogic methods as a tool to foster participants.
  • Prompt performers: Prompt performers in theatrical and opera productions.

ISCO group and title

2653 – Dancers and choreographers

  1. Dance répétiteur – ESCO
  2. Featured image: Photo by Ardian Lumi on Unsplash
Last updated on January 11, 2024