Wade Jeremy William Robson (born 17 September 1982) is an Australian dancer and choreographer. He began performing as a dancer at the age of five. He has directed music videos and world tours for numerous music artists such as 'N Sync and Britney Spears. Robson found success not only as a choreographer and tour director but also as the host and executive producer for The Wade Robson Project which aired on MTV in 2003. In 2007, he joined the Fox television dance series So You Think You Can Dance as both a judge and choreographer.
Robson was in a talent troupe called Johnny Young's Talent School and the group did fourteen shows a week, usually at venues like shopping malls. It was a performance, however, at Disneyland at the age of seven that sparked Robson's interest in America. So when he was nine, he, his mother and his sister made the move there. Michael Jackson assisted them in the move and recruited Robson to appear in three of Jackson's music videos: "Black or White," "Jam," and "Heal the World."
At the age of 11 Robson had an agent. Along with friend DeWayne Turrentine, he formed the hip hop duo Quo and by the end of the year released an album on Michael Jackson's MJJ Music label through Epic/SME Records. The following year, he was teaching dance classes in Hollywood. He formed a troupe of dancing children which performed internationally. He received his first choreography job for the R&B group Immature at fourteen. The job led to others, for artists such as Britney Spears. Being a self-described "short little white kid", his clients were sometimes hesitant to follow his direction. When Spears first interviewed Robson to choreograph her tour, she exclaimed "He's a friggin' baby!" as she had expected him to be in his 30s or 40s.
During the late 1990s, while still a teenager, Robson choreographed Spears's Pepsi commercials including one which aired during the 2001 Super Bowl. He choreographed the performance by 'N Sync and Spears at the 1999 Video Music Awards and he co-directed Spears's 1999-2000 world tours as well as 'Nsync's 2000 No Strings Attached Tour. In 2001, he choreographed Spears' I'm a Slave 4 U video and was choreographer and director of 'N Sync's 2001 "PopOdyssey Tour". In the 'N Sync music video "Pop", Robson had to fill in for 'N Sync member Joey Fatone during several of the dance sequences because of an injury that Fatone sustained at an 'N Sync concert the night before the video shoot. That same year, he directed Spears' Dream Within a Dream Tour.
Robson was the creator and host of MTV's The Wade Robson Project, a talent search competition for hip-hop dancers. The program was sponsored by Juice Batteries.
In 2002, Robson was named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch".
Dance clothing company Power T Dance developed a line of name-brand consumer dance shoes with Robson. The shoes were distributed in the U.S. through the Ralph Libonati Co.
Robson appeared as himself in the 2004 urban dance film You Got Served, which was co-choreographed by Shane Sparks, and won awards for "Best Dance Sequence."
Robson has joined several other high profile choreographers such as Mia Michaels and Shane Sparks on the PULSE Tour, a series of nationwide weekend workshops designed to give dancers the chance to train under top choreographers.
In 2007, Robson began choreographing the American Idols LIVE! Tour. He has also choreographed both group and partner pieces for the second and third seasons of "So You Think You Can Dance".
In September 2007, Robson was awarded a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography for the quirky, zombie-inspired, Thriller-esque group number, "Ramalama (Bang Bang)" on (Season 2) of So You Think You Can Dance. The choreography continues to be one of the show's most memorable and favorite group performances to date.
Robson was awarded his second Primetime Emmy Award the following year in 2008 on Season 3 of So You Think You Can Dance for the balletic, hauntingly beautiful jazz routine, "Humming Bird and the Flower". The performance was lauded by Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe calling it "absolutely genius, brilliant, and one of those routines that we will remember on this series for a very long time."
With 2 Emmy Awards under his belt for his fresh, groundbreaking, and highly innovative choreography style, it wasn't long before Cirque du Soleil producers came knocking on Robson's door in search of a creative director for a new Las Vegas show it was planning. The show, "Believe" starring famed illusionist and magician, Criss Angel (Mindfreak tv series), debuted in 2008 to rave reviews at the Luxor Hotel. "Believe" which combined Robson's award-winning choreography perfectly paired with Angel's mindblowing illusions, continues to be one of the most exciting and successful shows on the Vegas strip to this day.
Robson and 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake partnered in 2001, co-writing the hit singles "Pop", "Gone", and "See Right Through You" on 'N Sync's final album Celebrity. Robson had initially written "Celebrity" for his own album but was persuaded to let 'N Sync record it instead. They also co-wrote Britney Spears' "What It's Like To Be Me" which Timberlake sang back up vocals on. The song's copyright is held jointly by Robson and Timberlake's respective companies: WaJeRo Sound and Tennman Tunes.
Robson co-wrote the song "Movin' On" for the Backstreet Boys' album Never Gone with Backstreet member Howie Dorough. The song was released as a bonus track.
Robson has also written songs for the singing groups Dream and Youngstown. He also remixed two of Mandy Moore's songs from her album I Wanna Be with You.
Robson lent his choreographing talents to the animated feature film "Happy Feet Two" (in 3D) which was released in 2011. He was originally set to direct the fourth installment of the popular dance feature, "Step Up Revolution", (released in 2012), but later dropped out of the project for personal reasons (he was replaced by Scott Speer)
In 2012, Robson was the creative director for singer Demi Lovato's "Summer Tour 2012".
Today, Robson leaves behind the glare and bright lights of his Hollywood career in exhange for a quieter life in Maui, Hawaii, as a documentary film maker.
Routines for So You Think You Can Dance:
"Ramalama (Bang Bang)"--Róisín Murphy
Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography 2007
Heidi Groskreutz, Travis Wall
"W'Happy Mama"--Zap Mama
Sara Von Gillern, Jesús Solorio
"Cabaret Hoover" from Les Triplettes de Belleville
Chosen as Tony Meredith's favourite routine of the season
"Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See"--Busta Rhymes
Jaimie Goodwin, Hokuto "Hok" Konishi
"The Chairman's Waltz" from Memoirs of a Geisha
The Hummingbird and the Flower
Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography 2008,
Chosen as Nigel Lythgoe's favourite routine of the season
Lauren Gottlieb, Neil Haskell
"Night of the Dancing Flame"--Róisín Murphy
Good VS Evil
"Waiting on the World to Change"--John Mayer
Sabra Johnson, Lacey Schwimmer
"Koyal (Songbird)"--Nitin Sawhney
Katee Shean, Joshua Allen
"Slow Dancing in a Burning Room"--John Mayer
Slow Dancing in a Burning Room
Cirque du Soleil
"Homage to the Rabbits"--Éric Serra
Homage to the Rabbits
Ashley Valerio, Kūpono Aweau
Crash Test Dummies
Janette Manrara, Brandon Bryant
"Ruby Blue"--Róisín Murphy
"So Much Betta"--Janet Jackson
So Much Betta
"Boys Boys Boys"--Lady Gaga
Boys Boys Boys
Pauline Mata, Peter Sabasino
"Little Green Bag"--George Baker Selection
Little Green Bag
Top 11 + All Stars
" Fame "-- David Bowie
In August 2005 Robson married former fashion designer and creative directing partner on "So You Think You Can Dance", Amanda Rodriguez. The couple have a son, Koa, and live in Maui, Hawaii.
On Michael Jackson's death: "His music, his movement, his personal words of inspiration and encouragement and his unconditional love will live inside of me forever."
Robson, June 2009
Robson and his family testified as witnesses for the defense during Michael Jackson's 2005 People v. Jackson child molestation trial staunchly supporting the singer and denying allegations of wrongdoing. Following the King of Pop's death in 2009, Robson stated : "His music, his movement, his personal words of inspiration and encouragement and his unconditional love will live inside of me forever." However, in an unprecedented turn of events last year in 2013, Robson came forward and alleged that the singer had sexually abused him as a child. He has since filed a lawsuit against Jackson's estate which is currently pending. In a recent Facebook posting, Robson wrote, "It was not the plan for this info to be made public, but now that it has, I am sharing it because it is important for these 'uncomfortable' topics to be talked about...Silence perpetuates abuse."