Murgatroyd was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but moved to Australia when she was 18 months old; as a result, she considers herself more of an Australian. She was raised in Perth, Western Australia, and started studying classical ballet at age 4. She trained for 12 years under former principal dancer of the Kirov Ballet, Madame Lubov Nikonorenko. An ankle injury at 16 years old forced Murgatroyd to give up ballet. Murgatroyd then picked up Latin dancing.