As Rwanda joins the rest of the world to observe International Choreographers Day, different local choreographers testify that the industry has thrived despite some challenges that still need to be addressed. International Choreographers Day is celebrated every year on January 9, across the globe and offers a chance for everyone to give credit and attention to choreographers who are known to be the masterminds behind all the beautiful dance choreographies and routines we see — the creative geniuses behind designing, planning, and arranging different movements together. According to Desire Arsene Ndayishimiye, a local choreographer and dance instructor, the mindset of Rwandans about choreography has changed for the better compared to the past years. He said that most parents have started to understand that their children who prefer to pursue dance or choreography are not “gangsters’, adding that nowadays if a choreographer creates a good art piece, they get recognition and earn from it. Ndayishimiye asserts that however, the local choreography scene is still on a low level, given that most Rwandans do not value choreographers – something he said is discerned in how they pay them. “But on the international scene,” he continued, “a choreographer can live out of what they do as long as they come up with interesting creations and market them well. In Rwanda, dance and choreography pay well only in different festivals such as Ubumuntu Art Festival because it is also international.” As a dance instructor, Ndayishimiye has witnessed an increase in attendance at dance and choreography classes, although he said a big number of them are foreigners. He urges local choreographers to keep practicing and create more interesting art pieces instead of giving up on their dreams and calls on Rwandans to support them. Winnie Ange Wibabara, a local choreographer based in Kigali also shares that in the past, it was hard to get paid as a dancer or a choreographer – something she said has been revolutionized. “Today, a choreographer is getting paid due to the work that they do. Some people have understood that demand and are paying well. In different festivals or concerts, you can see that they also schedule performances for dancers and choreographers alone, instead of them just backing musicians,” she said. She makes a living out of choreography as she works on different projects with several institutions and festivals across East Africa – something she said was tough when she started. Wibabara also points out the low-pay mindset of different people who employ local choreographers as a challenge. “We want our local community to understand that the money choreographers request is worthy because they also put much force into creating their art pieces,” she said, urging those in charge of the creative industry to enforce the promotion of dance and choreography as one of the sectors that need to thrive. Eric Sano a.k.a “Mr NDI”, a contemporary dancer and choreographer also asserts that choreography in Rwanda keeps growing, given that most young people have ventured into it due to different classes that are available in the country where they learn to create great pieces by designing, planning, and arranging different movements. Sano has benefited from some of the classes and has used the acquired skills to make money. He however points out insufficient support in the industry as a challenge that hinders different choreographers from thriving, explaining that most dance and choreography events are attended by non-nationals and a very small number of Rwandans. Sono calls on Rwandans to provide their support, helping local choreographers to deliver their best.