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ASM Interview: Dancer & Choreographer Shane Sparks - page 2

By Jeff Ferrantino on August 31, 2007

Shane Sparks

ASM: Who were some of your influences growing up?

Sparks: I am influenced by action movies, but when it came to influential people, my cousin Troy was one of my first influences. I swear he could do everything — any style of dance you would tell him to do, and he could do it. I used to watch him and wanted to be just like him. I thought it was so amazing to be able to do all that he did. He was also an artist. He used to draw 'X-Men' cartoons all the time. Another talent I have is art — I love art.

ASM: You've accomplished a lot since moving to L.A., are you surprised by how quickly everything has fallen into place for you?

Sparks: I've been living here for a while now. It's just the last three years that have been amazing! Everything I've ever done led me to where I am and who I am. It may seem like it was a short time, but it took a lifetime to get here, and I am just beginning.

ASM: Tell me about about your very interesting start at Millennium and the impact of that on your career.

Sparks: Millennium was my first job! If not for Millennium, I don't know where I would be right now. It's so crazy, because it's true everything happens for a reason. If I had not met a girl named Asunsion, I wouldn't have gone to Millennium, which was called Moro Landis at the time. I thought it was funny that you could go to a dance studio to learn how to dance hip-hop. Where I am from, you learned on your own by practicing or watching TV. So I went to this studio, Moro Landis, and I was just standing there watching classes and the teacher was late. A student saw me and asked if I would teach the class, because I looked like a hip-hop dancer, funny huh? So I went in and taught the class, they were terrible [laughs]. The teacher came in and thanked me for taking over, made me his assistant, and the rest is history!

ASM: Talk about your experiences working with such artists as Aaliyah, Monica and Lindsay Lohan.

Sparks: Working with Lindsay was incredible, because it was towards the beginning of my rise in the entertainment industry. After rehearsals, she would invite me to clubs and it was the first time I felt the power within Hollywood. Aaliyah was great, I didn't do choreography for her, I was in her "4 Page Letter" video. Fatima Robinson (her choreographer) called me and asked if I wanted to be in the video. I got to meet her and she was very sweet, but also very professional. I also toured with Monica.

ASM: How did you your involvement with "So You Think You Can Dance" come about?

Sparks: Well, Nigel Lythgoe saw the movie 'You Got Served' and said he wanted the choreographer of the movie. They told him about me and he called my agent, who called me and told me. I went crazy with happiness, because I knew that this was the next phase of my career, and that I had to be a part of this show. When Nigel and I finally met, it was magic. He's an amazing man.