WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- America's favorite dancer this year is from West Palm Beach: So You Think You Can Dance voters selected Eliana Girard as their female favorite in this season's finale of the Fox TV show Tuesday night.
Girard, 21, who attended Dreyfoos School of the Arts before joining the Joffrey Ballet School, covered her mouth in shock and dropped to the floor when host Cat Deeley announced her name. Then she hopped back up to hug runner-up Tiffany Maher, of Plantation, the South Plantation High salutatorian in 2010.
"Coming into the show, I didn't want to prove anything, I just wanted to give ballet a good reputation," said Girard, who also attended Alvin Ailey School before starting her career with Cirque Du Soleil in July 2009. "I wanted them to enjoy it as much as I do."
Judge Mary Murrphy added: "She has done everything she could possibly do this year and then some."
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp of Switzerland won the men's title. Each winner receives $125,000 and Fox's billing as "America's favorite dancer."
The South Florida women and others who finished in the top 10 now go on a So You Think You Can Dance Tour, which includes a stop at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood on Dec. 5.