Mark Ballas: Two-Time Dancing With the Stars Champion

Filed under: Celeb Kids

Mark Ballas is a professional actor, dancer and musician who became famous after joining the cast of the ABC reality show "Dancing With the Stars" in 2007.

Ballas was born on May 24, 1986, in Houston. At a young age, Mark, the only child of Corky and Shirley Ballas, moved with his family to London, England. At age four, he enrolled in the Italia Conti Academy of Dramatic Arts Associate School where he eventually earned a full scholarship to the college.

After being named the "Performer of the Year" there, Ballas began competing professionally around the world. Some of his accomplishments include winning the Junior Latin American Dance Championship and a gold medal at the Junior Olympics.

During the show's fifth season, Ballas began his "Dancing With the Stars" career by partnering with Cheetah Girls star Sabrina Bryan. The pair's dancing earned them rave reviews and unprecedented high scores from the judges. Despite being the first couple in the history of the show to receive a perfect score, Ballas and Ryan were voted off the show on October 30, 2007.

Since then, Ballas has won "Dancing With the Stars" twice. In 2008, he partnered with Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.The next season, he won again. This time his partner was Olympic gold medalist gymnast Shawn Johnson, the youngest competitor in the show's history.

In November 2009, "Dancing With the Stars" viewers were asked to vote for a former contestant they would like to see dance again. Fans were asked to choose the partner, dance style, music and costume for the returning contestant. Ballas and Bryan were chosen. They were reunited on the show to perform the Latin Ballroom dance, the Paso Doble.

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