Mark Ballas is an accomplished ballroom dancer who is currently featured on the hit TV show Dancing with the Stars. Young and vibrant, he has a stunning career and plenty of promise for the future.
About Mark Ballas
Born Mark Alexander Corky Ballas Jr. on May 24th, 1986, Ballas is from Houston. Of Spanish and Greek descent, his parents are famous ballroom dancers Corky and Shirley Ballas. As an only child, Mark spent time in his grandfather's dance studio. A massive school at 64,000 square feet, Dance City USA is one of the biggest dance studios in the world. Ballas' grandmother was also a world-renowned Flamenco dancer on both stage and screen.
With all this being said, it's no wonder Mark Ballas went on to inherit the show business bug and move to London to further his creative studies. At age 4, he attended the Italia Conti Academy of Dramatic Arts Associate School, and here he honed his skills as a triple threat performer. By age 10, he was the champion of the British Juvenile Ballroom and Latin American Dance competition. He continued to study at Italia Conti Academy through college, and was often on full scholarship. He also partnered with another famous Dancing with the Stars dancer - Julianne Hough - where they went on to win a gold medal in Latin American dance at the Junior Olympics.
Mark Ballas joined the professional dance cast of Dancing with the Stars during Season 5. He danced with Sabrina Bryan, and the couple became one of the most popular couples ever to dance on the show. When they were voted off, it sent a shock through the media, as they were so beloved by both judges and audience members. They were invited to dance again on subsequent episodes and continued to be heralded as a remarkable duo.
Ballas danced with Kristi Yamaguchi during Season 6, and again they thrived. Season 7 found him partnered with Kim Kardashian, and in Season 8 he danced with Shawn Johnson, and were voted as winners. Most recently, he danced with Melissa Joan Heart for Season 9.
Music and Acting
Outside of dance, Mark Ballas has an extensive resume in other areas of entertainment. He started learning how to play guitar when he was four years old, and went on to write and showcase much of his own music by age 12. He is close friends with Julianne and Derek Hough, and together they have formed various bands and composed some music.
As an actor, Mark Ballas has been in many musicals, including the lead in Copacabana, which received great reviews. He also toured as a featured dancer in a British tour of Maria de Buenos Aires and has been in national television sitcoms.
Mark Ballas continues to be a Dancing with the Stars heartthrob, and is also affiliated with Learning 2 Dance, an online marketplace with dance instructional videos and online demonstrations. Like everything else he does, it's a great initiative of Ballas, which he uses to connect others to the dance world and continue to share his passion with the public and his fans.