Emmy-nominated Mark Ballas is a multifaceted performer and singer songwriter. Known for his dynamic energy and bold choreography, he stormed the U.S. scene 10 years ago, captivating millions of viewers each week on the ABC hit, Dancing with the Stars.
As part of the professional cast of Dancing with the Stars, Ballas has proven to be not only a fan favorite, but is also no stranger to the coveted Mirrorball 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. He has been in the DWTS finals nine times, being runner up on numerous occasions.
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. He has also choreographed for FOX's So You Think You Can Dance numerous times.
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 with guitar influences ranging from Paco de Lucia, Gypsy Kings, John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Prince and Kurt Cobain. By age 12, he was writing and performing his own music, playing guitar, drums and bass, and over the years has played and performed in bands of many different genres from hardcore metal, punk to jazz, folk and funk.
As a singer/songwriter in 2011, Ballas was the winner of MTV's Freshman Five, and MTV named him as that year's "Artist to Watch." In 2014 he released his debut single "Get My Name," which hit the Top 25 on iTunes pop chart while the song's video debuted at #1 on multiple MTV platforms. He has performed at legendary Los Angeles clubs, including The Troubadour, and performed at South by Southwest, in addition to will.i.am's Trans4rm Pre-Grammy Party (on the bill with Alicia Keys and Estelle).
As a theater actor, Ballas played the lead in the musical Copacabana and also took on a role in the U.K. National Tour of Maria de Buenos Aires. More recently, he played the lead role as Frankie Valli in Broadway's final production of Jersey Boys and resumed that role to rave reviews at Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theater. On television, he has guest starred on Melissa and Joey and Samantha Who?
He is also half of the music duo, Alexander Jean, with wife BC Jean. Their debut EP, entitled "Head High," debuted at #1 on iTunes' Singer/Songwriter chart, and then rose to #1 again for a second time. Their power-pop ballad and debut single, "Roses and Violets," also hit #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart and #6 on the iTunes overall chart, reaching the Top 20 on Billboard's Hot 100 "Bubbling Under" chart. The song had over three million Spotify plays and reached Top 10 in 7 countries around the globe. Their single, "Thief," hit #5 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart.
Responding to public demand for a follow up, the indie music sensation released their second EP, "High Enough," this past June, which instantly rose again to the #1 spot on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart and #40 on the iTunes Global Album chart, with Alexander Jean capturing the iTunes #1 Trending Artist spot.
They were recently listed in Billboard Magazine's "DeLeon 100," a list of Top 100 Trailblazers who display determination to bring their expertise to #thenextlevel. The duo was also named "KIIS-FM Next Up Artist of the Week" and performed at Sundance Film Festival's 2017 Creative Coalition event. In 2016 they completed a 21 date U.S. tour, "Head High," made their SXSW debut as an official showcase artist and were tapped to perform at BMI's 2016 annual "Snow Ball" event at Sundance, where they received a standing ovation, in addition to a stripped down, intimate set at the much-coveted Chef Dance. Alexander Jean was also chosen as one of three acts, from nearly 600 artist submissions, to perform at the 3rd Annual L.A. GRAMMY Showcase at The Fonda Theatre.