Corky Ballas

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Corky Ballas
Mark Alexander Ballas

(1960-12-25) December 25, 1960 (age 58)
Years active1978–1996; 2008–present
Shirley Rich
(m. 1985; div. 2007)
ChildrenMark Ballas
Parent(s)George Ballas
Maria Marulanda

Mark Alexander Ballas Sr. (born December 25, 1960), known as Corky Ballas, is a retired competitive ballroom dancer of Greek, Mexican and Spanish descent who holds several Latin dance championship titles.[1][2] His son, Mark Ballas, is a professional dancer on Dancing with the Stars. His father was George Ballas, who invented the Weed Eater lawn-trimming device.

Personal life[edit]

Ballas was born in Houston, Texas. He is the son of Mexican-American Maria Marulanda and Greek-American George Ballas, the inventor of the Weed Eater lawn-trimming device. His paternal grandparents, Karolos ("Charles") Ballas and Maria Lymnaos were immigrants to the United States from Greece.[3] He has three sisters, Michelle, Maria, and Lillian, and one brother, George.

He has one son, Mark Ballas,[4] with former wife and partner Shirley Ballas.[citation needed] Corky and Shirley Ballas also raised and trained Julianne Hough and Derek Hough.[5][6]

Corky now teaches dancing in San Antonio via his dancing studio,[7] and his website.[8] His plans for the future include more television performances as well as an online interactive dance instruction via hundreds of videos.


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[clarification needed], and seven times undefeated United States International Latin Champions.[1][9][10] They retired in 1996.[citation needed]

Ballas judges professional competitions and teaches. He is based in Los Angeles, California and Houston, Texas.[11]

Dancing with the Stars[edit]

Ballas 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.[12]

For Season 11 Ballas was partnered with Florence Henderson. They were eliminated in Week 5 of the competition.


With celebrity partner: Cloris Leachman

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1, Night 1 Foxtrot/I Wish I Were in Love Again 6 5 5 Safe
1, Night 2 Mambo /Coconut Woman 6 5 5 Safe
2 Paso Doble/Bolero 5 5 5 Last to be called safe
3 Jive/The Girl Can't Help It 6 5 5 Safe
4 Tango/The Big Date 8 7 7 Bottom Two
5 Salsa/Tres Deseos 7 7 7 Safe
6 Cha Cha Cha/Come See About Me
Old School Hip Hop/It Takes Two

With celebrity partner: Florence Henderson

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha/Kiss Me, Honey Honey, Kiss Me 6 6 6 Safe
2 Quickstep/Suddenly I See 7 6 6 Safe
3 Waltz/Edelweiss 7 6 7 Safe
4 Rumba/Yesterday 6/6 6/6 5/6 Safe
5 Tango/The Brady Bunch Theme 7 7 7 Eliminated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
  2. ^ "Untitled Normal Page".
  3. ^ Wozny, Nancy. "H-Town's Own Dance Man: Mark Ballas opens up on the naive miracle of Bristol Palin & his John Mayer ways", CultureMap Houston, December 13, 2010. WebCitation archive. George Ballas passed away in June 2011. See "Weed Eater inventor dies at 85," June 29, 2011, Associated Press, as published by the Lake Charles American Press, at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2011-06-30..
  4. ^ "Like Father, Like Son F". OutSmart. December 6, 2010. Archived from the original on December 13, 2010. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Corky Ballas". Corky Ballas.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-19. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
  11. ^ "Corky Ballas". Corky Ballas.
  12. ^ "ABC Shows Page". ABC.

External links[edit]