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Mark Ballas

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Bio: Emmy-nominated Mark Ballas is recognized worldwide as a multifaceted performer. Known for his dynamic energy and bold choreography, Mark stormed the US scene over six years ago, captivating over 20 million viewers per week on the ABC sensation, “Dancing with the Stars.” Named by Clear Channel as the 2011 “Artist to Watch,” he has emerged as a recording artist, signing a major deal with publishing powerhouse, BMG. He is currently working on his first solo full studio production album with some of the most influential and respected producers in the music industry. This includes producers from the Timbaland camp such as, Jim Beanz and Wizz Dumb. He has also been working with the Stereotypes and doing co-writes with Jozzy, BC Jean, and Clarence Coffee Jr. Mark has recently opened for Robin Thicke . At one of these shows in Los Angeles, he received two standing ovations at the Wiltern Theatre. After his sold out show at the Trouabadour in West Hollywood, he performed at Will. I. Am’s “Trans4rm” Pre-Grammy party where he shared the stage with the Black Eyed Peas Band. In the same line up was Estelle, Ludacris, Bobby Brown, Alicia Keys, andWill.I.Am. In 2011, Mark was the winner of MTV’s Freshman Five and he was highlighted on the network. He received over 100 million documented views, and his music appeared on feature reels in over 100,000 retail and business locations worldwide. As part of the professional cast of “Dancing with the Stars” for the past eleven 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 season 13, he and his partner, Welsh singing sensation Katherine Jenkins, made it to the finals, finishing in second place which was rather controversial as they were seen as front-runners throughout the season. Recently, they reunited for a final dance together on the UK hit “Strictly Come Dancing.” In addition to dancing, Mark 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. Born in Houston to a family of international dance stars and musicians, Mark moved to London as a child, where he attended the world-renowned Italia Conti Performing Arts School and graduated with honors. Here, 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. Mark is carving out his own niche in the music world best described as Pop/Urban/Rythmic with percussive guitar. His style and soulful melodies showcase his talent not only as an accomplished singer, but also as a skilled guitar player. 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?” When Mark isn't performing, he is passionate about speaking to school age kids about acceptance and mental health. Nine years ago, Mark and his family were forever altered by the suicide of his Uncle David. Mark and his mother Shirley (David's sister) formed The Ballas Foundation in the fall of 2010. Mark and Shirley are committed to removing the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide by raising money, awareness, and volunteerism in support of suicide awareness.


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