The Quick 10: 10 Celebs Who Were Once Back Up Dancers

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Even the most famous people had to start somewhere; for people in the music industry, that means playing second-banana backup. Here are 10 dancers who started out doing just that before they took center stage for themselves.

1. Jennifer Lopez, of course, is the most famous In Living Color Fly Girl. She hit the ILC dance floor for seasons four and five, from 1991-1993. That means she shared the stage with another famous hoofer for a season or two"¦
2. Carrie Ann Inaba. Yep, before she was critiquing celebs on Dancing with the Stars, Carrie Ann was busting a move as a Fly Girl. I wonder if it was strange to judge David Alan Grier during DWTS season 8? Completely unrelated but rather interesting (at least, in my opinion) - Carrie Ann was a popular singer in Japan in the '80s and released three singles. She was also "Fook Yu" in Austin Powers in Goldmember.

3. Heather Morris. You may not know the name, but you probably know who I mean - and you definitely know her if you're a Gleek like me. Heather plays the dim-witted Brittany on Glee and gets some of the best lines on the show. But she wasn't even supposed to be on the show - she was simply hired because she was one of Beyonce's backup dancers for Single Ladies and they needed someone to teach the cast the dance for an episode. Heather was so great they hired her as a full-time cast member. Here she is performing with Sasha Fierce herself:

4. Kevin Federline. Looking at him today, it's a little hard to believe that K-Fed was in good enough shape to dance with the likes of Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani and Pink. But once upon a time, he was. I'm going to link to a compilation of his dance moves instead of embed it because it says in the comments exactly where you can find him in each video. Yes, I watched all nine minutes of the clips. I did it for you.

5. Madonna. Early in her career, Madonna was chosen to be a backup singer and dancer for French disco singer Patrick Hernandez. One source says Hernandez disliked her "overly independent nature" and gave her the boot after just a few gigs.

6. Tupac. He was a back up dancer for the likes of Humpty Hump when he joined Digital Underground's crew in 1990. The YouTube user who uploaded this video says that's Tupac in red doing the Humpty Dance - what do you think? Legit? I can't tell.

7. Julianne Hough. She actually started as a back-up dancer on the Dancing With the Stars live tour and parlayed it into a regular gig. Now she's moved on to other things, such as a career in country music and spokesperson for ProActiv.

8. Michael K. Williams. You know this guy if you're a fan of The Wire - he played Omar. He got his big break in the business dancing for Crystal Waters, Tupac and Madonna.

9. Wade Robson. The famous choreographer was in three Michael Jackson videos after MJ saw him perform some of his own difficult dance moves. Wade mostly moved into a career in choreography after that, but he did dance in NSync's Pop video when Joey Fatone was injured the night before the video was shot.

10. Cris Judd. You probably know him as J. Lo's ex - she met him while he was doing some back up dancing for her. He appeared in four of her music videos, in fact. These days, he's still dancing - he appeared in the tribute to Michael Jackson last year when Janet danced alongside a video version of Michael to their duet Scream. But he's also acting, choreographing and judging various dance reality shows.

Know any other celebs who started out in the background? Tell us in the comments!

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July 23, 2010 - 12:30pm
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