Mark Ballas: Snapshot

Mark Ballas
Date of Birth
May 24, 1986
Birth Place
Houston, Texas
The son and grandson of internationally renowned hoofers, Mark Ballas was destined to be a professional dancer. At 10, he became a dancing champion and later jumped into the spotlight on the fifth season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

The dimple-faced cutie, who dated his first DWTS partner, Cheetah Girl Sabrina Bryan, won the coveted mirror ball trophy twice – with Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson.

Although Ballas' first love is dancing, he's also got his sights on music: he released his debut album, BHB with his band Ballas Hough Band (which includes best friend and fellow DWTS pro Derek Hough) in 2009, before going solo with HurtLoveBox in 2011.

Mark Ballas: Video

Star Talk

Find out how well these ballroom pros really know each other off the dancefloor (02:22)

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Mark Ballas: Five Fun Facts

  1. Mark Ballas ate a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch as his training breakfast the day he won his first Dancing with the Stars title. "That's the one thing I need!" he told a San Francisco radio station.
  2. When they were kids, Mark Ballas dated his best friend Derek Hough's kid sister Julianne. "It didn't bother me because it was Mark," Derek told PEOPLE. "So I guess no girls are really off-limits!"
  3. Dance partner Sabrina Bryan told PEOPLE she fell for Mark Ballas's "perfect abs" and he for her "hot legs".
  4. Mark Ballas learned to play guitar at age 4 and by the time he was 12, he was writing and singing his own music.
  5. Mark Ballas and Derek Hough say they are more like family than friends. "We get along like brothers…we fight like brothers," Ballas said on The Bonnie Hunt Show. "He steals my clothes and ruins them."

Mark Ballas: Biography


Mark Ballas

The Ballas Family Business

Mark Ballas, the son of dance champions Shirley and Corky, begins dancing as a toddler in Houston, Texas. The family eventually moves to London, where Ballas, 10, becomes Britain's Juvenile Ballroom and Latin American Dance champion. Future Dancing with the Stars pros Derek and Julianne Hough (left) also train with Ballas's parents. In 2003, Julianne and Ballas are paired for the Junior Olympics, where they both win gold medals for ballroom dancing. The Hough kids and Ballas also form the pop group 2B1G, which stands for two boys and one girl.


Mark Ballas

Teaming with a Cheetah Girl

Ballas joins the fifth season of Dancing with the Stars, where he's paired with Cheetah Girl Sabrina Bryan. In their first week, they score a 26 out of 30 – at the time, the highest score ever earned during the first week. They set another record in the fourth week, when Bryan becomes the first contestant to earn a perfect score that early in the show. But a shock strikes the competition on Oct. 30, when the duo is eliminated. "He's such a responsible person that he just feels like he failed me," Bryan tells TV Guide. "And I'm like, 'Dude, you didn't!'"

Mark Ballas


Off the Dance Floor

A week after elimination, Bryan admits to TV Guide that she and Ballas are a real-life couple. "When I walked into the rehearsal hall the first day and found out who my partner was, it was so exciting," Bryan says. "I always call him 'Marky Baby.' I absolutely love and adore him." The following May, Bryan's busy schedule forces the pair to split.

Read More on Mark Ballas' Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: John M. Heller/Getty

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Courtesy of Julianne Hough; ABC; Albert Ferreira/Startraks

Edited by Julia Wang

Mark Ballas

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