Tools of the Trade: Portland Sports Choreographer Erin Cowan


What are the three tools of the trade that you need to do your job?

EC: First and foremost, the ability to communicate. Then you have to be a fan and be passionate about sports. That’s the second thing. The third thing is, you have to be knowledgeable on how you deliver techniques and things to make sure everything is all fitting. That’s it really, I mean for me. I think that a lot of people, they may know the sport better than me if we’re doing football or soccer or track and field but when it comes to me, my ability to communicate, execute, and my passion for how I come across and deliver the message, that’s what the athletes want to hear. Because if you’re not passionate about what you’re talking about, they’re going to think you’re just a regular person. I’m not a regular person [laughs].

TP: You are not, you’re special!

EC: I don’t want to be - I’m knowledgable about every sport because I’m a sports fanatic. And I will do my homework if I’m not. A linebacker or an offensive lineman - I would do my research on an offensive lineman, I would do my homework and find the best offensive lineman and figure out what they do, what they like, what they don’t like, how they train. I would study that before I would go in and do the shoot and I would execute.

TP: Are there any tools you need when you’re actually on set besides your voice?

EC: No. I don’t need anything, to be honest. Just my voice, my eyes and my appearance. No seriously, there’s no tools really. Well, I feed off people. So the energy has to be there or I create the energy.  


Curious as to what a sports choreographer does exactly? Check out Erin's full interview here!

Interview by Annika Howe

Photos by Adrian Alston