Emmy-nominated Mark Ballas is a multifaceted performer and singer songwriter. Known for his dynamic energy and bold choreography, Mark stormed the US scene nearly a decade ago, captivating over 20 million viewers per week on the ABC mega-hit, “Dancing with the Stars.”
As part of the professional cast of “Dancing with the Stars” for the past 18 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. He has been in the DWTS finals many time, coming runner up on numerous occasions.
In addition to dancing, Ballas is widely respected for his choreography and was nominated for a 2011 Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Choreography for Season 12 alongside the industry’s most celebrated talent. 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.
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. With guitar influences ranging from Paco de Lucia, Gypsy Kings, John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Prince, and Kurt Cobain. Ballas is carving out his own niche in the music world best described asa soulful but fun, funky pop sound. His style and soulful melodies are infectious and fresh and showcase his talent not only as an accomplished singer, but also as a skilled guitar player. Currently, he is a Martin Guitar Ambassador along with Eric Clapton and John Mayer and is also endorsed by Kremona Flamenco Guitars.
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?”
He is also half of the duo, Alexander Jean. BC Jean (who penned If I Were A Boy for Beyonce) and Mark, first met in 2012 at a Los Angeles singer-songwriter showcase. They released their debut EP titled “Head High,” which debuted at #1 on iTunes’ Singer/Songwriter chart this summer. Their power-pop ballad and debut single “Roses and Violets,” also hit #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart and #6 on the iTunes overall chart; reaching the Top 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100 “Bubbling Under” chart. Their single “Thief,” also hit #5 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart. Alexander Jean have just completed their first 21 date U.S. tour, “Head High”, sponsored by Nicorette and Nicoderm.
Recently, they were named “KIIS FM Next Up Artist of the Week.”
The duo made their SXSW debut in 2016 as an official showcase artist. They were also tapped to perform at BMI’s 2016 annual “Snow Ball” event at Sundance, where they received a standing ovation, in addition to a stripped down, intimate set at the much-coveted Chef Dance.
In 2011, Ballas was the winner of MTV’s Freshman Five and that same year Clear Channel named Ballas the 2011 “Artist to Watch.”