EVAN RUGGIERO began dancing at the age of five at his hometown studio. By the age of ten, he was accepted into the famed New Jersey Tap Ensemble. He soon graced the stages of Lincoln Center, The Shomberg Museum of Harlem, and The New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, among others.
Evan was suddenly diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer of the right leg while at Montclaire State University pursuing a degree in Musical Theatre. He was faced with the ultimate decision of amputation in order to stop the cancer and save his life, as well as undergoing chemotherapy for 16 months.
In spite of the physical setback, Evan held close to the dream of dancing and learned of the famed Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates, a legendary African-American entertainer who taught himself to tap dance after losing a leg in a cotton gin accident at the age of twelve. Inspired by Bates's story, Evan aspired to passing on his legacy. Within eighteen months after the amputation, and only two days after receiving his “peg-leg," Evan was tapping again!