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Full Name: Mark Alexander Corky Ballas Junior
Dance Style: Latin
Mark Ballas was born into a family of dancers. His parents are Corky Ballas and British-born Shirley Ballas (née Rich). Mark is an only child. Mark's grandfather, George Ballas Sr., owned and operated a 64000 sqft dance studio called Dance City USA, known as the largest dance studio in the world. It was situated in Houston and had 125 teachers on payroll. Mark's grandfather sold the studio and later went on to invent the Weed Eater. Mark's grandmother was a famous Flamenco dancer who appeared in several movies and studied with Carmen Amaya in Spain. Talk about some amazing dance genes!
Mark moved to London with his family as a child and began competing in dance competitions. He grew up with siblings and fellow DWTS pros Derek and Julianne Hough, who lived and trained with his parents. Mark and Julianne partnered to win Junior Latin American and Junior Olympics dance championships.
He began playing the guitar at the age of 4 and at the age of 12 began to write and perform his own music, playing guitar, drums, and bass. The Hough siblings and Ballas had their own pop music trio called "2B1G (2 Boys 1 Girl)". With his best friend Derek Hough, he formed the band Almost Amy, now known as the Ballas Hough Band. The members of the band are Emily Grace - flute/sax/piano/vocals, Sam Marder - bass and Harry Sullivan - drums. They describe their music as acoustic/pop/rock/soul with catchy melodies and harmonies/funky guitar riffs with a pop/flamenco/jazzy feel-good vibe. The band released their first CD in March 2009.
In 2011, Sony Red released Mark's album HurtLoveBox, with the single "Hotwire" winning MTV's 2011 Freshman Five.
Mark began competing on Dancing With The Stars in Season 5, when he and partner Sabrina Bryan were controversially eliminated in mid-season despite stellar early performances, including a perfect 30 for their paso doble in Week 4. Mark came back with a vengeance, nabbing the DWTS title in Season 6 with partner Kristi Yamaguchi, and again in Season 8 with Shawn Johnson. Mark is also the first and only pro so far to earn a perfect 90 during the finale, which he has done twice — once with Kristi and once with Season 14 partner Bristol Palin,
As an actor, Ballas played the lead role of Tony in the musical Copacabana and was the lead dancer in the UK national tour of the Spanish musical Maria de Buenos Aires. He was also the understudy for the role of Ritchie Valens in the UK national tour of Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story. In Oct. 2008 Mark made a guest appearance on the season premiere of Samantha Who?
Mark and Sabrina dated for a while after their DWTS partnership. More recently, Mark has been seen out and about with new girlfriend Joanna Pacitti, who was booted from her own reality show, American Idol.
- British Juvenile Ballroom and Latin American dance champ
- US Open to the World, British Open to the World and International Open to the World Junior Latin American Champ
- Junior Olympics Gold Medal Winner
British Open to the World, US Open to the World, International Open to the World twice, United Kingdom, Youth Latin American Dance Champion
Performance Roundup on DWTS:
Season 5: Sabrina Bryan (Finished 7th)
Season 6: Kristi Yamaguchi (Finished 1st)
Season 7: Kim Kardashian (Finished 11th)
Season 8: Shawn Johnson (Finished 1st)
Season 9: Melissa Joan Hart (Finished 9th)
Season 10: Shannen Doherty (Finished 11th)
Season 11: Bristol Palin (Finished 3rd)
Season 12: Chelsea Kane (Finished 3rd)
Season 13: Kristin Cavallari (Finished 10th)
Season 14: Katherine Jenkins (Finished 2nd)
Season 15: Bristol Palin (Finished 9th)
Season 16: Aly Raisman