Adam Michael Shankman (born November 27, 1964) is an American film director, producer, dancer, actor, and choreographer. He has been a judge on the television program So You Think You Can Dance since Season 3. He began his professional career in musical theater, and was a dancer in music videos for Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson. Shankman also choreographed one of the Spice Girls' tours. He has directed several feature-length films, including A Walk to Remember, Bringing Down the House, and Hairspray.
Shankman was born in Los Angeles, California to an upper middle class family. He has said that he had a "traditional Jewish upbringing" in Brentwood. He attended The Juilliard School, but dropped out to dance in musical theater.
Shankman was a dancer in Janet Jackson's “Escapade” video, as well as in a MC Skat Kat video with Paula Abdul. Shankman broke into professional choreography in a 1989 music video for rapper MC Shan with director Julien Temple. When the hired choreographer fell through, Shankman lied and said that he had done choreography for Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul. He was hired on the spot without his story being verified. Shankman began choreographing movies that included actors such as Marlon Brando, Sarah Jessica Parker, Antonio Banderas, and the cast of Boogie Nights. He is Brendan Fraser's exclusive choreographer.