Shane Sparks

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Shane Sparks
Melvin Shane Sparks

(1969-06-25) June 25, 1969 (age 50)
OccupationHip-hop choreographer
Parent(s)Wanda and Melvin Sparks Children: Christopher Brockman

Melvin Shane Sparks (born June 25, 1969) is a hip-hop choreographer best known for his work as a choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance and judge on America's Best Dance Crew.

Early life[edit]

Melvin Shane Sparks was born on (June 25, 1969) in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the youngest of three children born to Melvin and Wanda Sparks, both officers in the police force. Sparks spent some time in the hospital after his birth due to scoliosis. He became interested in dance at the age of eleven, when he started performing in talent shows. His interest in teaching became apparent when he started offering dance lessons from his own backyard. Dance became extremely important to Sparks after his sister's boyfriend was murdered, as it became a way for him to escape and feel safe.


Sparks has been recognized in the industry by receiving many awards for projects such as the "Best Choreography in a Feature Film" award for "You Got Served" at the 2004 American Choreography Awards and the "2005 BET Award" for co-choreographing with Omarion on the same film.

Sparks was featured as a judge in the hit MTV series America's Best Dance Crew. Along with Shane Sparks, JC Chasez (*NSYNC) and "Lil" Mama judged the crews, and Mario Lopez (Dancing with the Stars) hosted the show.

Dance career[edit]

In 1993, Shane Sparks left his hometown of Cincinnati, OH to move to Los Angeles, California. Here, Sparks began making a name for himself as a choreographer. Several projects such as the feature film "You Got Served" and Fox's hit TV show "So You Think You Can Dance" made Sparks a force to be reckoned with. His solid resume of credits and awards today reflect his deep passion for dance and people of all ages and races admire his style of dance and suave attitude.

From a young age, Sparks knew his talent and gift was dance. No more than three months after his move to Los Angeles, Sparks was offered a random chance to substitute a hip-hop class in the Millennium Dance Complex, formerly known as Moro Landis, located in the North Hollywood Arts District. He soon became an assistant at the hip-hop class. When the teacher left, he took over the whole class. Due to his ability as a teacher and dancer, his class expanded from only three people to a record high of one hundred and seventy-five people.

Shane Sparks has worked with stars including Lindsay Lohan, Aaliyah, Monica, and Benji Schwimmer.


In 2011, Sparks pleaded no contest to a charge that he had had sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl who studied at a dance studio where Sparks was employed as a teacher.[1] In his defense, Sparks claimed that he believed she was of legal age because she worked behind the front desk at the studio.[1] He was sentenced to serve 135 days in a "pay to stay" jail, and did so over the course of two years, while continuing to work and travel internationally.[1]

So You Think You Can Dance[edit]

Sparks is best known for being one of the judges and choreographers on the reality dance competition So You Think You Can Dance.[2][3] According to TV Guide, Gaynor accepted the role.[4]

The show features a broad variety of American and international dance styles including classical, contemporary, ballroom, hip-hop, street, club, jazz, and musical theatre styles, amongst others, with many subgenres within the categories represented.

America's Best Dance Crew[edit]

Sparks was a judge on MTV's dance competition reality show America's Best Dance Crew from seasons 1–4. He did not return to judge for the fifth season due to his arrest.[5] Singer Omarion replaced Sparks during Season 5. Omarion left after season 5 so he could focus on his music career. In Season 6, D-Trix from Quest crew took over the spot as the third judge.


  1. ^ a b c Santo, Alysia; Kim, Victoria; Flagg, Anna. "Upgrade your jail cell - for a price". Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  2. ^ Oscar Dahl (June 13, 2007). "Exclusive Interview: Shane Sparks, judge from So You Think You Can Dance". Retrieved 2007-06-22.
  3. ^ Adam B. Vary (2007). "Strictly Y'allroom". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2007-06-22.
  4. ^ Dani Dornfeld and Sabrina Rojas Weiss (June 20, 2007). "Why So You Think You Can Dance Is Hotter Than Ever". TV Guide. Retrieved 2007-06-22.
  5. ^ Kaufman, Gil. (2009-12-18) 'America's Best Dance Crew' Judge Shane Sparks Arrested and Charged With Child Molestation – Music, Celebrity, Artist News. MTV. Retrieved on 2011-04-05.