The Livingston teen winner of a TV talent show has vowed to split the £50,000 cash prize with her dance teacher after scooping the top spot to be crowned the country’s top dance talent.
Ellie Fergusson, 14, beat competition from acts KLA, Harry and Eleiyah and James and Oliver to win the inaugural BBC show The Greatest Dancer on Saturday night.
As well as appearing on Strictly Come Dancing, the BBC show that inspired her, Ellie, 14, will take home £50,000, half of which she wants to give to her dance tutor.
She told the Evening News she would love to use the rest of the money to enrol in a good dance college. “I want to give half of it to my dance teacher and I want to use it to help me get to dance school,” Ellie said.
“It would be a dream to work for Matthew Bourne, Nederlands Dans Theater or a contemporary company in America.
“I would love to get an opportunity to dance for [US singer] Billie Eilish.”
She also thanked Scotland for getting behind her and voting for her. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she said. “It definitely has not sunk in yet, I still can’t believe it. I think it will take a while. But I can’t wait to see all my friends – I’ve missed them so much.”
In the hours after her victory the youngster has received hundreds of praising tweets, including from Nicola Sturgeon.
The First Minister said: “Saw Ellie Fergusson’s final performance tonight. What an amazing talent – congratulations!”
And minutes after being told she had won, Ellie, said: “I’m completely speechless right now. I never thought I’d make it to the live shows or even have the mirror open for me, neverind winning.”
And to Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse, Ellie’s mentor and dance captain on the show, she said: “You have been the best dance captain I could ever ask for. Thank you for everything you have done for me – you have been the best.”
Ellie stunned dance captains Oti, Glee’s Matthew Morrison and pop star Cheryl Cole with her solo, contemporary dances and incredible flips, cartwheels and tumbles.
Director of Edinburgh Dance School, where Ellie trains, Suzie Galloway told the Evening News: “We are so very proud of Ellie. She has demonstrated remarkable endeavour, skill and ability whilst all the while remaining so humble, gracious and supportive to the other competitors.
“She and her choreographer, Jenni Inglis, worked so hard to get to the final and for her to win was just incredible.
“Ellie has always been a super role model to all in our EDA family and is an inspiration to our dancers. It’s so wonderful that she has been given this wider recognition.”
More than four million people tuned in to watch the final of the new talent competition.