Full Name: Mark Alexander "Corky" Ballas, Sr.
Dance Style: Latin
Corky Ballas had a distinguished start. His father, George C. Ballas, Sr., owned the largest dance studio in the world — and invented the highly useful Weed Eater. That’s a lot to live up to, but somehow Corky managed. He started dancing when he was six, and never stopped. He married his partner, Shirley Ballas, and together they took the dance world by storm in the 90’s, winning multiple world championships. They retired in 1996, but that wasn’t the end of their involvement in the dance world. It’s no coincidence DWTS pro Mark Ballas share’s their name — he’s their son.
Corky has only appeared on DWTS once before, in Season 7, when he paired with Cloris Leachman. They were eliminated after the sixth week, and Corky left DWTS until returning for Season 11. Despite only appearing on stage in two seasons, Corky is arguably the most important DWTS dancer, because he’s trained a significant number of the other pros, including Jessie DeSoto, Tony Dovolani, Brian Fortuna, Julianne and Derek Hough, Alec Mazo, Jonathan Roberts, Edyta Sliwinska, Karina Smirnoff, Anna Trebunskaya, and, of course, Mark Ballas.
Corky is committed to spreading dance technique however possible. He still trains other dancers, and has also written a book, “See it and Do it Rhumba,” which teaches technique through text and photo. He’s recently moved into the technology age with his website, Learning2Dance, which offers online lessons.
1996 Open to the World International Champions
1995–1996 Open to the World British Champion
Twice British National Champion
Star - World Cup - UK - Champions
Seven time undefeated United States International Latin Champion
Performance Roundup on DWTS:
Season 7: Cloris Leachman (Finished 7th)
Season 11: Florence Henderson (Finished 8th)