Home » Dance » Congratulations to BBC’s The Greatest Dancer, Ellie Fergusson, and her teacher, DFA graduate, Jenni Inglis
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Congratulations to BBC’s The Greatest Dancer, Ellie Fergusson, and her teacher, DFA graduate, Jenni Inglis

DFA graduate, teacher and choreographer, Jenni Ingles stands with her pupil, The Greatest dancer Winner, Ellie Fergusson

This #InternationalWomensDay we want to give a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Ellie Fergusson on her win at the inaugural BBC1 The Greatest Dancer competition!!

Many congratulations to Ellie Fergusson who won BBC One’s The Greatest Dancer on Sat 23rd Feb 2019!

All of us here at DFA have been following Ellie’s progress throughout the competition and cheering her on and we couldn’t be more thrilled for her. Not only has she been a great ambassador to represent Scotland, she’s also an incredibly talented dancer.

14-year-old Ellie has a fantastic team behind her and often mentioned them on The Greatest Dancer – family, dancers, TGD Dance Captain, Oti Mabuse and the Edinburgh Dance Academy team. Everyone is so incredibly proud of Ellie and all she’s accomplished – over 4 million people tuned in to watch the Greatest Dancer Final and it felt like the whole of Scotland cheered when Ellie was crowned!

Incredible performances by Ellie Fergusson on BBC’s inaugural Greatest Dancer competition 2019!

Watch Ellie re-create her audition in the final episode on BB1 One below.

Outstanding choreography by Ellie Fergusson’s teacher, Dance For All graduate and EDA Assistant Artistic Director, Jenni Inglis

We also want to congratulate EDA’s Assistant Artistic Director (and DFA graduate), Jenni Inglis!! Jenni coached Ellie throughout the competition and choreographed ALL of Ellie’s solos and her duet with Oti – outstanding choreography matched with outstanding performances!! Jenni couldn’t be more proud of Ellie right now:

“I am so proud of Ellie and so thankful for all of the support from the Dance Community in Scotland. Choreographing all of Ellie’s routines and being at all of the Live Shows was so exciting and an unforgettable experience!”

The Greatest Dancer winner, Ellie Fergusson stands with teacher, choreographer and Dance For All graduate, Jenni Ingles, both smiling.
The Greatest Dancer winner, Ellie Fergusson stands with teacher, choreographer and Dance For All graduate, Jenni Ingles, and Dance Captain, Oti Mabuse, all are smiling.

We’re so inspired by all Jenni’s accomplished!

Soon after Jenni graduated from our professional dance training college, she began teaching Modern and Tap at EDA, where she trained in her youth. In 2008, Jenni became Assistant Artistic Director at EDA and, while training for her RAD teaching certificate here at Dance For All, Jenni, taught Ballet at EDA for 9 years. She also taught on the Specialist Dance Programme at Broughton High School for 8 years. Jenni has been a Dance For All college tutor too and is in demand as a guest teacher and judge around Scotland and beyond.

EDA Artistic Director, Julie Mitchell, pays tribute to Jenni Inglis and Ellie Fergusson before the finals of The Greatest Dancer

Julie Mitchell thanked everyone involved with Ellie’s journey, citing support from Ellie’s parents, Aileen and Scott, all the EDA pupils, staff and families, plus all well-wishers from the dance community and people around Scotland and beyond.

Julie also highlighted the amount of hard work, dedication and hours of dance training Ellie has undertaken.

“Ellie’s dance journey, of course, has been many years in the making and her achievements in Classical Ballet, Tap and Contemporary have been the result of dedication at the highest level. This has often meant over 20 classes plus private lessons each week with us.”

“Getting this point in the competition has been a journey of many months in the making and I’d like to pay tribute to Ellie and Miss Inglis, our Artistic Director – Modern Performing Arts, for the long hours of choreography, practice, travel and nights spent away from home to get to this point.”


Ellie’s dedication paid off and she was crowned winner, live on BBC1, with Julie Mitchell saying:

“We are so very proud of Ellie who has deservedly delighted and captured the hearts of literally millions of people across the UK and further afield. She has demonstrated remarkable endeavour, skill and ability whilst all the while remaining so humble, gracious and supportive to the other competitors. She is an outstanding example to children, teenagers and young dancers everywhere. Huge shout out to Jenni Inglis who has tirelessly choreographed and supported Ellie through this whole journey.”

The Greatest Dancer highlights

Watch Ellie wow the judges during the “chandeliers challenge”:

Oti Mabuse, one of three Dance Captains on The Greatest Dancer, South African ballroom star and Strictly Come Dancing performer, coached Ellie alongside KLA and The Globe Girls who made it to the final 9 acts, and regularly gave shout outs on social media. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon congratulating Ellie on Twitter was just one of the many highlights.

The difference an amazing, experienced and dedicated dance teachers can make

Ellie was very vocal about the support of her dance teachers, saying “Jenni is always with me before I go on stage and she always knows what to say to calm my nerves,” and she made headlines in the Edinburgh Evening News, saying she was going to gift half her prize money to her dance teacher (Jenni refused, of course!) and use the rest of her winnings to help her get to dance school.


No doubt, Ellie has inspired a new generation of dancers, here in Scotland and beyond.  

Matching raw talent with hard work, dedication and a passion for dance can make all the difference to succeeding in auditions, but being taught by highly trained teachers, and having a deeply supportive dance school and family support can bring huge benefits to your dance career.

That’s why a family ethos is so important to us. Like EDA and many dance schools across Scotland, our family ethos is distilled into every part of our dance college and dance school and it’s great to see this echoed across the country.

Seeing dance teachers who trained with us (like Jenni Inglis and Ellen West) teach and inspire the next generation of dancers, is wonderful to witness and we wish Ellie the very best in her future dance career.

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