Travis Payne began dancing when he was four years old, and started formal training five years later. In the 1980s he began dancing for several groups based in Australia, later joining the Harrison Dance Company, and eventually moving to Los Angeles to pursue more opportunities.
At 19 Payne successfully auditioned for a slot in Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 Tour. He later danced for artists such as Price, En Vogue and Michael Jackson, with whom he would collaborate closely in the future. He soon began choreographing for acts such as Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Usher and Beyonce.
Payne further rose to prominence when he worked with Jackson and choreographer Kenny Ortega on the latter's This Is It concerts in London, which were ultimately cancelled due to Jackson's death. Payne was featured in the movie that stemmed from rehearsal footage off the concerts. He also co-choreographed the memorial service for the late singer.
Payne has since worked with stars such as Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga and Nicole Scherzinger, and also worked in several Michael Jackson tributes. He also joined the CBS reality series Live to Dance, produced by Paula Abdul, where he appears as a judge.
- MTV Video Music Award, Best Choreography, 1992
- MTV Video Music Award, Best Choreography, 1993
- MTV Video Music Award, Best Choreography, 1994
- MTV Video Music Award, Best Choreography, 1995
- Razzie Award, Governor's Award, 2004 (for From Justin to Kelly)