SEPT. 2017 INCDEF NEO NOTES MARK BALLAS BACK IN DWTS25

Mark Ballas
DWTS 25 Magnesium SHOW SCORES MONDAY, SEPT. 18, 2017 :
* Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas: This spunky violinist definitely struck a chord with the judges, earning a score of 22/30 — tying with Fisher and Arnold for the highest score.
NEO NOTE: MARK BALLAS is the grandson of Maria Luisa Marulanda Ballas, who started as a dance teacher in my hometown, Laredo, Texas, around 1948. She danced flamenco alone, and did comedic pachuco dance with her sister, Cata Marulanda. Many years later, when I went to teach a modern jazz dance workshop at Rogelio Rodriguez’s studio in Houston, Maria Luisa had, in my honor, a terrific dinner party at her Houston mansion. Parked in the back garden of the house was a helicopter. Her husband owned DANCE CITY U.S.A., the largest ballroom dance school in the entire U.S ! Eventually his son Corky Ballas took over the dance usiness. Corky is Mark Ballas’ father.
Competing for the Mirrorball trophy this time around are:
• Paralympic swimmer Victoria Arlen with Val Chmerkovskiy
• WWE wrestler Nikki Bella with Artem Chigvintsev
• “Shark Tank” entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran with Keo Motsepe
• former NBA player Derek Fisher with Sharna Burgess
•Singer/actor Jordan Fisher with Lindsay Arnold
• ’80s singer Debbie Gibson with Alan Bersten
• Singer Nick Lachey with Peta Murgatroyd
• TV personality Vanessa Lachey with Maksim Chmerkovskiy
• Actor Frankie Muniz with Witney Carson
• former NFL player Terrell Owens with Cheryl Burke
• “Pretty Little Liars” star Sasha Pieterse with Gleb Savchenko
• “Property Brothers” star Drew Scott with Emma Slater
• violinist Lindsey Stirling with Mark Ballas.
According to Wikipedia:

Mark Alexander Ballas Jr. (born May 24, 1986) is an American dancer, choreographer, singer-songwriter, musician, and actor.

Ballas is a professional ballroom dancer on the ABC program Dancing with the Stars. He began competing on the show in the fall of 2007. He was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Choreography in 2011. He is also a singer/songwriter/musician and released his first solo CDHurtLoveBox in March 2011.

Ballas was born in Houston, Texas, the son of dancers Corky Ballas andShirley Ballas(née Rich). His paternal grandparents were of Mexican,Spanish, and Greek background, and his mother is originally from the United Kingdom and is of English heritage.His paternal grandfather, George Ballas, was the inventor of the Weed Eaterlawn-trimming device.

Ballas is a member of singer-songwriter duo Alexander Jean[ along with his wife, BC Jean. The two became engaged in November 2015 after three years of dating, and were married on November 25, 2016 Malibu, California.

Ballas attended Rosemead Preparatory School in South London. At the age of 11, he earned a full-time slot at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London, as well as earning a full scholarship. In 2005, he was awarded “Performer of the Year”. He then moved on to win championships at The British Open to the World, The US Open to the World, and The International Open to the World. With his former partnerJulianne Hough, he won the Junior Latin American Dance Championship and the gold medal at the Junior Olympics.

As an actor, Ballas played the lead role of Tony in the musical Copacabana and was the lead dancer in the UK national tour of the Spanish musical Maria de Buenos Aires. He was also theunderstudy for the role of Ritchie Valens in the UK national tour ofBuddy, The Buddy Holly Story. Ballas played an extra in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as part of the Hufflepuff House. In October 2008, Ballas made a guest appearance on the season premiere of Samantha Who.

On September 6, 2016, it was announced that Ballas would be the final actor to portray the role ofFrankie Valli in the Broadway cast ofJersey Boys before it closes in 2017.

NEO NOTE:  And now, Mark is back on American TV, for the duration of Dancing With the Stars  25, which airs on ABC-TV at  evening prime time on Monday and Tuesday.  ENJOY ! ! !
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