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A backup dancer also known as background dancer is a performer who dances with or behind the lead performers in a live musical act or in a music video. Their movements (especially where there are many moving together) provide a visual symmetry and rhythm to accompany the music.
Some notable performers began their music careers as backup dancers for other artists, including:
- Tupac Shakur (for the Digital Underground)
- Jennifer Lopez (for the New Kids on the Block, MC Hammer and Janet Jackson's 1993 video "That's the Way Love Goes")
- Cris Judd (for ex-wife Jennifer Lopez' 2001 video "Love Don't Cost a Thing")
- Rain (for Park Jin-young and Park Ji-yoon)
- Michael K. Williams
- Kenya Acosta (for many artists, mostly Justin Bieber)
- Kevin Federline (for Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani, Pink, Christina Milian, and LFO)
- Storr, Will (5 June 2011). "The truth about life as a background dancer". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- "Jennifer Lopez left red-faced after seeing her MC Hammer dance clip from 20 years ago... but shapes up as Marilyn Monroe". Daily Mail. 24 April 2010. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- "Cris Judd Talks Jennifer Lopez Marriage: "You're No Longer a Normal Person"". Us Weekly. 14 September 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- "From Backup Dancer To 'The Wire': How A Scar Transformed A Career". NPR. 21 June 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- Schwarz, Hunter (26 April 2014). "Kevin Federline Was A Backup Dancer In A Justin Timberlake Music Video". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
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