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Code of Professional Practice For New Zealand Choreographers

Prepared by DANZ, Ann Dewey, Shona McCullagh & Deirdre Tarrant

"Choreography is about managing people as well as creating dance"


A choreographer/director should
  • Ensure contracts are negotiated in advance and signed before or on the first day of employment.
  • Negotiate fair rates in relation to recommended current rates of pay
  • Be supportive toward the profession, dancers, fellow choreographers, fellow artists and organisations to maximize their professional opportunities and employment
  • Work in an open, encouraging and cooperative manner with dancers
  • Engage in and maintain open and regular communication with dancers and company members, in relation to changes
  • Recognize and respect the uniqueness dignity and potential of each dancer
  • Respect and acknowledge gender considerations and differences, cultural diversity, ethnic origin, sexual orientation and beliefs
  • Ensure privacy issues are respected
  • Ensure permission is secured for the use of images for publicity material.


A choreographer/director should:
  • Ensure that the dance work is appropriate for the skill level of the dancers prior to commencing the project or contract
  • Comply with all statutory requirements affecting health, safety, legal ;and employment law as it affects process at work (Appendix 2)
  • Ensure a first aid kit and ice packs are available at all rehearsals and performances
  • Ensure the rehearsal space has suitable ;flooring and is warm and well ventilated
  • Ensure that working hours are within an 80 hour fortnight and do not exceed an on-call day of eight hours
  • Provide a daily class and schedule time for dancers to warm up and warm down
  • Ensure that dancers are given sufficient breaks and work according to guidelines (Appendix 1)
  • Safeguard the interests and well-being of all dancers and be aware of psychological and emotional as well as physical demands.


A choreographer/director should:  
  • Uphold and enhance the standard and reputation of the profession
  • Ensure due credit is given to the contribution of others e.g dancers generating material, technical expertise, other collaborators
  • Endeavour to produce authentic and original work, and acknowledge major sources of research 
  • Ensure that there is adequate administrative support or work responsibly  within company administration schedules
  • Ensure that contracts, publicity material, deadlines, program notes and media requirements are prioritised and met. 

Download the full document  Code for Choreographers 
Copyright © 2011 Dance Aotearoa New Zealand

DANZ Code of Professional Practice for NZ Choreographers

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