Mary Murphy - Judge
Murphy is an in-demand film and television choreographer and the long list of stars she has coached includes: Julia Roberts, Mary Steenburgen, Donnie Walhberg and Dennis Quaid.
Murphy's immediate future includes acting. She recently signed on for a featured role in the upcoming thriller "Dead of Night," directed by Jeff Fisher. Beyond her work in Hollywood, Murphy continues to be one of the hardest-working women in dance. She serves as a judge at major dance competitions across the U.S. and is a world-class technical dance instructor.
Murphy founded Champion Ballroom Academy in San Diego, where she and her team continue to train award-winning dancers. Murphy also co-organizes two international dance competitions: the San Diego Dancesport Championships and the Holiday Dance Classic in Las Vegas. As a competitive ballroom dancer, Murphy has won many awards, including the prestigious United States Ballroom Championships and the Austrian National Standard and Ten Dance Championships. In 2007, Murphy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Heritage Dance Classic.
Beyond the dance floor, Murphy is working to make dancing accessible to underprivileged children. "The Mary Murphy Chance To Dance" program has already had a huge impact on hundreds of children in the San Diego area.
Mary Murphy is best know as the "Queen of Scream" on FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance." The show has become a smash hit around the world and Mary frequently travel to countries like Australia, Canada, Norway etc. for "Special Guest" judging appearances on their versions of the show.
In addition to her award-winning work on "So You Think You Can Dance," Murphy is an in-demand film and television star. She has appeared in films like "Dance With Me," starring Vanessa Williams and "Killer Movie," starring Leighton Meester, Rob Buckley and J.C. Chasez. Murphy's first short film, "Meanwhile..." recently won the prestigious Coca Cola Refreshing Filmmaker's competition.
Murphy has also appeared on television shows like "Rachael Ray," "The Soup," "Chelsea Lately" and "American Idol" just to name a few. The long list of stars Murphy coached includes Dennis Quaid, Mary Steenburgen, Donnie Wahlberg and she worked as Julia Roberts body double in "Something To Talk About." Murphy is the proud spokeswoman for Core Rhythms, the amazing dance exercise program that helped her lose almost thirty pounds!
Beyond her career in Hollywood, Murphy continues to be one of the hardest-working women in dance. She serves as a Judge at major ballroom competitions including The U.S. Ballroom Championships. Murphy is also the Owner and Director of Champion Ballroom Academy in San Diego and she organizes The Holiday Dance Classic in Las Vegas.
Murphy was born in Lancaster, OH; the only daughter in a traditional Irish family. Keeping up with three brothers left her with little affinity for typical feminine pastimes so Murphy spent most of her time competing with the boys in sports like track & field, basketball, volleyball and football.
After graduating from Ohio University with a degree in Physical Education and a minor in Modern Dance, Murphy moved to Washington, D.C. where she became an instructor-trainee at a local dance studio. Murphy's life changed forever when the studio's owner invited her to attend the United States Ballroom Championships in New York City . There, she realized ballroom dancing was more than just a job - it was her destiny.
Murphy followed her newfound passion to Southern California where she opened the doors to Champion Ballroom Academy in downtown San Diego. Her mission was to provide the very best facility for competitive dance education; a place where students and teachers alike feel a sense of comfort and community while they work to improve their dancing skills.
Murphy's own competitive dance career was very successful. She and her dance partners won the Austrian National Championships, The U.S. Nine Dance Championships and an impressive list of top finishes at competitions around the world.
After retiring from competition, Murphy shifted her focus to her dance studio and a future in Hollywood. She was a finalist for a Judging position on "Dancing With The Stars" around the same time she caught the eyes of the Producers of "So You Think You Can Dance." And the rest is history!
On "So You Think You Can Dance" Murphy's crowd-pleasing antics, infectious laugh and "maryisms" like "Hot Tamale Train" have made her a household name around the world . She even beat out a star-studded field including Ryan Seacrest, Carrie Ann Inaba and Donald Trump to claim the "Best Host/Judge" prize at the Reality TV Awards.
In her "spare" time, Murphy dedicates herself to worthy causes such as the American Cancer Society and Mary Murphy's Chance to Dance program, which she launched to help schools offer dancing as a regular part of their curriculum.