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Mary is known world-wide for her accomplishments in the world of dance. She is considered to be a “world-class technical dance instructor” and she is also the founder of the Champion Ballroom Academy in San Diego. She has coached a number of celebrities including Dennis Quaid, Mary Steenburgen and Donnie Wahlberg.

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Before SYTYCD

The daughter of an elementary school teacher and a stay-at-home mother, Mary Murphy was the only daughter in a family of four. Mary attended Ohio University and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in physical education. Shortly after her college years, she became interested in competitive ballroom dancing and after working as an instructor and dancing competitively herself, Mary and partner Manfred Siglitz became the Austrian National Champions in 1990 and 1991.

Since then, Mary has opened the Champion Ballroom Academy in San Diego, and has won several titles since then. On the big screen, Mary danced as a double for Julia Roberts in Something to Talk About, as well as appeared in Dance With Me with Vanessa Williams.

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