One of the Dancing with the Stars dancer
Mark Alexander Ballas Jr. is an Emmy-nominated multifaceted perfomer and artist (dancer, choreographer, singer-songwriter, musician, and actor). He was born on the 24th of May 1986 and since then his star shines brightly in the show buisseness area. Known for his dynamic energy and bold choreography, Mark stormed the US scene over seven years ago, captivating over 20 million viewers per week on the ABC mega-hit, “Dancing with the Stars.” He began competing on the show in the fall of 2007. In 2011 he was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Choreography.
Born in Houston to award-winning Latin American dancers “Corky” and Shirley, Ballas moved to London as a child, where he attended the world-renowned Italia Conti Performing Arts School graduating with honors. There, he was required to not only dance, but also sing, act and play an instrument. He began playing the guitar at the age of nine, training in classic Flamenco. By age twelve, he was writing and performing his own music, playing guitar, drums and bass.
His paternal grandfather, George Ballas, was the inventor of the “Weed Eater” lawn-trimming device.
May 2014, Ballas released his debut single Get My Name produced by Timbaland protégé producer, Wizz Dumb and Missy Elliott,while the Get My Name music video debuted #1 on multiple MTV platforms. In 2011, Ballas was the winner of MTV’s Freshman Five and that same year Clear Channel named Ballas the 2011 “Artist to Watch.”
As part of the professional cast of “Dancing with the Stars” for the past 14 seasons, Mark has proven to be not only a fan favorite, but is also no stranger to the coveted mirror ball trophy. He is a two-time champion (Season 6 with Kristi Yamaguchi and Season 8 with Shawn Johnson), and caused a media frenzy when he took performance newcomer Bristol Palin all the way to the finals in Season 11.
In addition to dancing, Ballas is widely respected for his choreography and was nominated for a 2011 Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Choreography. That same year, he was also tapped to choreograph the hugely popular television commercial for Diet Pepsi starring Sofia Vergara. He has choreographed two other Pepsi commercials since then, the most recent airing during the 2014 Grammy Awards.
As an actor, Mark has played the lead in the musical Copacabana. He also took on roles in the UK National Tour of Maria de Buenos Aires, and was an understudy for one of the leads in Buddy, The Buddy Holly Musical, which won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical. In television, he has guest starred on “Melissa and Joey” and “Samantha Who?”