Emmy-nominated Mark Ballas is a multifaceted performer, dancer and singer songwriter. 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.”
May 2014, Ballas released his debut single Get My Name produced by Timbaland protégé producer, Wizz Dumb and Missy Elliott mentored writer Jo’zzy, which broke Top 40 in its debut release on the iTunes pop chart landing #24 while the Get My Name music video debuted #1 on multiple MTV platforms.
Recently signing a major deal with publishing powerhouse BMG, Ballas is currently working on his first full studio production solo album with producers from the Timbaland camp such as Jim Beanz and Wizz Dumb while co-writing with Jozzy, BC Jean, and Clarence Coffee Jr.
While you can occasionally catch Ballas’ live performance with a full eight piece band and horn section at Hollywood’s Sayers Club, he also has recently sold out the acclaimed Troubadour in West Hollywood and opened for Robin Thicke both in New York and LA. He performed at will.i.am’s Trans4rm Pre-Grammy Party with the Black Eyed Peas band, sharing the same bill as Alicia Keys and Estelle; performed acoustic sets at SXSW in Austin, and the Jersey Shore, sharing the same stage as Ed Sheeran and Gavin DeGraw.
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 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.
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?”