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Stars That Died

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Who is Mary Murphy?

Who is Mary Ann Murphy? The entertainment and dancing world knows her as a ballroom dance champion, accredited dance judge, and a former judge and choreographer on the Fox dance competition-reality show So You Think You Can Dance.


Mary Murphy was born March 9, 1958, she is a former U.S. champion ballroom dancer and current TV personality. She was born in Lancaster, Ohio in an Irish family. She graduated from Northwest High School in Canal Fulton, Ohio.


After graduating from Ohio University with a degree in physical education and a minor in modern dance, Murphy moved to Washington, D.C. to begin her career; she answered a newspaper advertisement for studio instructor trainees. She became an instructor after only one week, and the studio owner invited her to attend the United States Ballroom Championships in New York City, which was the event that influenced her to commit to a career in ballroom dancing.
Murphy moved to California and searched for a dance partner while working as an instructor. During the U.K. Open Championships in England, she met Manfred Sigletz, and a dancing partnership was formed. The two began to compete and eventually became the 1990 and 1991 Austrian National Champions. Despite their success, the constant travel and Murphy's domestic commitments took their toll. Murphy had opened the Champion Ballroom Academy in San Diego in 1990, and found it difficult splitting herself between these two obligations.
For the next five years she went on to build a list of accomplishments with partners based in California, earning titles at the Southwest Regional Dance Tournament, the Saint Louis Star Ball, and the International Grand Ball. With partner Bill Milner, Murphy made the U.S. Open Standard final in an unprecedented six months. Finally, in 1996, she and partner Jim Desmond made the final of the U.S. Open American Smooth and won the U.S. Open American Nine Dance. She retired from competition and shifted her focus toward her dance academy.
She acted as a dance double for Julia Roberts in the movie Something to Talk About and appeared in Dance With Me, starring Vanessa L. Williams.
She currently runs her dance studio and organizes a Las Vegas dance competition, the Holiday Dance Classic. She frequently serves as a judge in several competitions, including the U.S. National Ballroom Championships.

So You Think You Can Dance

Murphy was part of the original guest judge and choreographer pool when season 1 began in 2005. In 2006, for season 2, she made noticeably more appearances at the judging table than the other choreographers. In 2007, just prior to season 3, it was reported in TV Guide that Murphy would be a permanent judge, a position previously only enjoyed by Nigel Lythgoe.
In 2008, Murphy made guest appearances on international versions of So You Think You Can Dance, including So You Think You Can Dance Australia, So You Think You Can Dance Canada and So You Think You Can Dance Scandinavia.
She has become noted for regularly holding up her hands and screaming enthusiastically as a form of praise, along with giggling constantly during performances she enjoys. Also, Murphy is noted for introducing unique forms of praise, which include calling dancers "Hot Tamales" or issuing them tickets on her "Hot Tamale Train."
In 2008, Murphy reprised her role as judge on season 4 with fellow regular, Nigel Lythgoe, and on the season finale, performed a surprise samba with Dmitry Chaplin.
Murphy continued as a weekly permanent judge on season 5 and season 6.
For season 7, it was announced that Mia Michaels would replace Murphy as permanent judge.


Season Dancers Style Music
1 Ashlé Dawson
Jamile McGee
Jive Jim DandyLaVern Baker
Melody Lacayanga
Craig DeRosa
Kamilah Barrett
Nick Lazzarini
Tango Tanguedia – Prandi Sound Dance Orchestra
Ashlé Dawson
Blake McGrath
Samba Jazz Machine – Black Machine
Melody Lacayanga
Nick Lazzarini
Paso Doble España Cañí – Boston Pops Orchestra
2 Jessica Fernandez
Jaymz Tuaileva
Foxtrot Why Don't You Do Right?Sinéad O'Connor
Ashlee Nino
Ben Susak
Jive Great Balls of FireJerry Lee Lewis
Top 14 Footloose – Kenny Loggins (Soundtrack: Footloose)
Heidi Groskreutz
Travis Wall
Paso Doble Plaza of ExecutionJames Horner (Soundtrack: Zorro - The Mask of Zorro)
Donyelle Jones
Dmitry Chaplin
Samba Hey MamaBlack Eyed Peas
Natalie Fotopoulos
Dmitry Chaplin
Magaleñha – Sérgio Mendes
4 Mary Murphy
Dmitry Chaplin
Samba Baila, Baila – Angela Via

 Burn the Floor

From December 22, 2009 to January 10, 2010, Murphy headlined the on Broadway ballroom dance show Burn the Floor.She was partnered with Vaidas Skimelis.
Murphy will be returning to the cast of Burn the Floor in September and October, 2010, with performances in San Jose and San Diego; she will once again be partnered with Vaidas Skimelis.

 Personal life

In an October 2009 interview on Larry King Live, Murphy said that as a young bride and during her nine year marriage to her first husband, she was a victim of domestic abuse. She said she was speaking out so that other victims could learn from how she endured, but escaped, domestic violence. Her first ex-husband denies ever physically or mentally abusing her. In 2008, Murphy divorced her third husband, Phillip Gott.


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