Costa Rican Talent: Harry Shum Jr.


Costa Rica stands proud when it comes to being home of many musical celebrities. Being a country where music, art and dance are loved and appreciated this much, it comes as no surprise when talents like Harry Shum Jr. (of Glee fame) call Costa Rica their homes.

Among the many talents Costa Rica has raised over the years, Harry Shum Jr. now stances as a famous youth icon both nationally and internationally. Born in 1982 in Limon, Harry was brought up in Costa Rica by Chinese parents.

At six, his love for entertainment, dance and music took him to California where he joined several dance and music studios as he chased his passion all through his schooling. Inspired by his all-time idols Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly, Usher and Dru Hill, he began to master different dance styles including popping, locking, breaking, tutting, waving and contemporary.

Graduation from Arroyo Grande High School followed acceptance in San Francisco State University. Yet, he eventually dropped out from college to take on his passion of music and dance and make them his career. He did his debut as the only male dancer in BET’s Comic View in 2002 and there onwards his life took a new turn.

Now a recognized actor/singer/dancer he has swayed in lead with super stars like Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez. However, his real recognition came from his role in the show Glee. Initially, given a small role of Mike Chang in this Fox musical television show, his role was elaborated in the following seasons from a guest star to main cast member. He has impressed with his several performances in the show and he performed his first solo song “Cool” by the West Side Story with it.


Apart from Glee, Harry Shum has been a part of many other television shows like Boston Public, Greek, and Mortal Combat. One of his very solid contributions has been to the League of Extraordinary Dancers as a choreographer and regular dancer when he also created the groups routine for an appearance in So You Think You Can Dance.

His dancing flair has inspired production houses and he has been a part of various projects of Wong Fu Productions. He has appeared in many popular movies such as Stomp the Yard, You Got Served, Step Up 3D, High School Musical 2: Dance Along, The Onion Movie and Glee: The 3D Concert Movie.


Harry Shum Jr.’s talent has been recognized all around the world at different occasions. His nominations and wins at Screen Actor Guild’s Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 2010, and Breakout Performance Award at East West Players Visionary Awards are few among many to come. He has also been nominated for The Grammys and Teens Choice Awards over the years.

His love and passion for art, music, dance and entertainment is purely Costa Rican. Shum has many projects lined up for the future and is a artist that is one to look out for.