At Mark Ballas Dance and Performing Arts, we take pride in offering the top quality instruction for all levels of dancers! While many of our students are ballroom dance novices, we also work with a number of professional and competitive dancers. When an amateur dancer is ready to take their social dancing to the next level, we are pleased to offer specialized instruction to help with preparation for competitions and shows.
To compliment the wealth of expertise and knowledge of our resident team, Mark Ballas Dance and Performing Arts Studios also hosts the highest caliber of guest coaches who impart new insights and stoke the creative fire of our amateur and professional dancers. It is exciting to see the dramatic progress that occurs during these classes!
It is empowering for our dancers and instructors to work with coaches who are current or former dance champions. These coaches judge in the largest competitions that shape the world of Ballroom Dancing today!
Shirley Ballas is a British ballroom dancer, teacher and adjudicator. She specializes in the International Latin division, where she won several championship titles earning her the nickname, “The Queen of Latin.” Shirley was first married to, and competed with, fellow Briton Sammy Stopford. They came 2nd in the 1982, 1983 & 1985 Professional World Latin Dance Championships. The pair won the 1983 International Latin American Dance Championship,and were the 1984 UK Open Champions in Professional Latin.
Later, she married Corky Ballas. Together they won the International Latin American Dance Championship for 1995, at the Royal Albert Hall in London. They met at a Latin competition in Montreal, Quebec. The pair moved to Houston, Texas to compete in the USA. Their first and only child, Mark Ballas, of Dancing with the Stars fame, was born in 1986.
Corky and Shirley were 1996 Open to the World International Champions, 1995–1996 Open to the World British Champions, twice British National Champions, Star – World Cup – UK – Champions, and seven times undefeated United States International Latin Champions. He retired in 1996.
Corky has trained many of Dancing with the Stars’ professionals including Karina Smirnoff, Julianne Hough, Derek Hough, Tony Dovolani, Edyta Sliwinska, Alec Mazo, Brian Fortuna, Jonathan Roberts, Anna Trebunskaya, Jessie DeSoto and, his son, Mark Ballas.
On August 25, 2008, the show’s producers announced Corky himself would compete as a pro on season 7, alongside his son and former pupils. He was partnered with 82-year-old actress Cloris Leachman.
For Season 11 Ballas was partnered with Florence Henderson. They were eliminated in Week 5 of the competition.
Yegor started his dance career at the age of 8 taking classes in his elementary school in Samara, Russia. He was one of the most successful young dancers of Samara region. He was making finals on all of the competitions he participated. Besides dancing he was studying drama and languages.
In 2004 Yegor came to United States to continue his dance career as professional dancer and teacher. There he started dancing with Ekaterina. Since 2004 Yegor became grand finalists in all prestigious US competitions including Ohio Star Ball and US National championships. In 2006, he started taping a line of instructional DVDs featuring basic Latin and Ballroom steps for Oly’s! Dance Studio. Also in 2006 and then 2007 Yegor became US National Professional Rising Star International Latin Finalists.
Louis Van Amstel
Van Amstel competed professionally with Julie Fryer, and they were coached by Ruud Vermeij. In 1990, Van Amstel and Fryer became Dutch Latin Champions and 10 Dance Champions. They also made the final in Blackpool in the ‘under 21’ category. This very same year, they received a bronze medal at the German Open, at the World Latin and at the European 10 Dance. In the Worlds 10 Dance Championship, Van Amstel and Fryer got fourth place.
Van Amstel was cast for season one of Dancing with the Stars in early 2005. He was partnered with Trista Sutter. In the show’s second season, he was partnered with hostess Lisa Rinna, with whom he reached fourth place.
Van Amstel returned in season three maintained a role as a performer and choreographer throughout the season four and season five.
Van Amstel returned for season 15 of Dancing with the Stars, the All Stars season, and was partnered with former contestant, Sabrina Bryan. During his time off from Dancing With The Stars, Van Amstel set up a not-for profit dance company called “Visionworx Dance Theater,” which combines all four major dance forms. He also choreographed and appeared on numerous TV shows such as The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Hannah Montana, and All My Children.
Loraine has been highly successful as a competitor winning the European, UK, International and World Amateur Championships as well as being a Professional finalist in all major Championships.
She has also won the International Professional Standard Championship in London in 1999–2000
She is currently doing an amazing job coaching world Champions. Loraine is one of the esteemed adjudicators at the British Open Championships in Blackpool, England.
Pat Traymore was born to a diplomat father and an astronomer mother. From early childhood she was surrounded by diverse cultures and interesting people.
She became a dancing teacher at a chain dance studio. A few years later was promoted to the chairman of the International Dance Board, wrote training manuals and organized competitions. She was a franchisee for thirteen years and ran a very successful dance studio. Her love is coaching people and helping them to become better, fun and loving dancers. She judges many competitions and travels extensively to coach.
Pat Traymore has experienced every facet of the dance business. Fifty-five years in the business, she has been chairperson of a dance board for 13 years, and a traveling dance consultant and judge.
She has performed on the Johnny Carson Show, Merv Griffin and Harry Belafonte Shows. Her favorite work is working with students to help them reach their full potential.
Taliat is a world renowned choreographer and coach for many current and past champions. In addition to adjudicating world class competitions, Taliat has been invited to lecture at the prestigious Blackpool World Congress multiple times.
His professional awards and achievements are numerous including winning several national titles between 1990 and 1995- the Russian National Latin Championship, the Russian National Ten Dance Championship, and the Soviet Union National Standard and Latin Show Dance Championships.