University of the Arts Dance Student Wins Fox-TV's 'So You Think You Can Dance'
January 1, 2010
Twenty-year-old University of the Arts student Russell Ferguson was named America's top dancer Wednesday night (12/16) in the two-hour finale of Fox-TV's nationally televised "So You Think You Can Dance."
In an episode filled with celebrity performances, the Roxbury, Mass., native, who suffered an injury in the previous night's performance, beat contemporary dancer Jakob Karr for the title. He won $250,000, will be part of a national dance tour, and will star in a dance number on the upcoming Academy Awards (Oscars) telecast, among other prizes.
Ferguson is a sophomore in the University of the Arts Dance Certificate program and took the Fall 2009 semester off to compete on the popular show.
The competition began last spring with regional auditions. Throughout the year, the contestants performed in a wide variety of dance genres. Ferguson's specialty was "krumping," an energetic type of street dance that features expressive and exaggerated moves.
Earlier in the evening, judge and producer Nigel Lythgoe described Ferguson as a "diamond in the rough" and Karr as "a polished diamond," and called both superb dancers.
When his name was announced as the winner, Ferguson hopped up, despite his injury, and tore off his shirt. He said he had been dreaming of this moment "since I was born."
During the two-hour show, contestants performed dances that the judges and choreographers had chosen as their favorites of the season. Special guests who performed were Leona Lewis, Mary J. Blige, Adam Lambert and Jennifer Lopez.