The entire BAA community, and for that matter the entire Boston Public School network, is so proud of Russell Ferguson (BAA class of 2007), who has made it to the finals of the Fox television show, So You Think You Can Dance? While we have had alums go on to Alvin Ailey (Kirven Boyd class of 2002), and many others continue to amaze us with their accomplishments, no one has made it to the pinnacle of popular culture like Russell. So while the world watches and is in awe of the apparent ease with which Russell takes on new styles of dance, we know the hard work that it took and the years of training here at BAA with his amazing teachers! Our dance faculty, Sheryl Pollard Thomas, Fernandina Chan (read chapter 3!), William McLaughlin, and Cosmin Marculietiu (now at Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theatre) and academic teachers, Anne Clark and Abdi Ali to mention just two, all worked closely with Russell.
While at BAA, Russell learned the shared values of passion with balance, and community with social responsibility, as well as diversity with respect, and vision with integrity. We are so proud to have him carry BAA’s name with him as he continues to wow audiences across the country. I remember when I took him to a conference about adolescent health and wellness at Harvard Medical School. He taught the entire assembled group of mostly adults about the religious and spiritual roots of Krump. There was a moment when he had everyone shut their eyes to center themselves before teaching the dance moves. As I watched, I knew right then that Russell was going places. He hasn’t disappointed us.
We are all so excited for him!