International Choreographers Day - January 9
(Last Updated On: November 15, 2022)


On January 9th, International Choreographers Day celebrates choreographers past and present. It’s also a day to show appreciation to choreographers for keeping dance alive in our hearts.

Have you ever watched a Super Bowl halftime show? What about a music video with dancers in it? If so, then you have witnessed the work of a choreographer. These professionals plan dance routines used in various kinds of performances.

The word choreography means “dance-writing.” The word first appeared in the dictionary in the 1950s. Despite not being an actual word until the 1950s, the art of choreography dates back to the 15th century. This is when dance masters taught steps to Italians who belonged to the noble class. The court would then entertain others by participating in performances. Most of these performances incorporated ballet. These choreographed ballet performances became very popular throughout Italy and France.

Modern choreographers in the 20th century did not like ballet, however. These choreographers preferred modern dance instead. Today, choreographers embrace all different kinds of dance, including contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, ballroom, tap, and folk dance.

Along with being involved in every area of dance, today’s choreographers plan routines for the following fields:

  • Musical theater
  • Opera
  • Cheerleading
  • Gymnastics
  • Marching bands
  • Synchronized swimming
  • Show choir
  • Figure skating

Some of the most well-known choreographers in history include George Balanchine, Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Bob Fosse, and Katherine Dunham. No list of choreographers would be complete, however, without mentioning Fred Astaire. He gets credit for transforming the way choreography is incorporated into a film’s plot. Astaire’s impressive choreography career spanned more than 76 years.

HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalChoreographersDay

On this day, dancers, dance companies, producers, and others pay tribute to choreographers around the world. To participate:

  • Pay careful attention to the choreography when watching a performance of any kind.
  • Learn more about the history of choreography and its influence on our culture.
  • Read about other famous choreographers, such as Twyla Tharp, Shane Sparks, and Paula Abdul.
  • Get together with your friends and choreograph a routine.
  • Watch videos of famous choreographed dance routines like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” or Madonna’s “Vogue.”

Post a video of your choreographed dance routine on social media with #InternationalChoreographers Day.


Our team is still researching the origins of the day.


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