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|Sep 21 2009, 9:11 AM EDT||jakefwp||9 words deleted, 1 photo added, 1 photo deleted|
|Sep 19 2009, 6:03 PM EDT||jakefwp||3 words added, 6 words deleted|
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|Mark Ballas was born into a family of dancers. His grandfather George ran one of the largest dance studios in the world in Mark's hometown of Houston, Texas. His parents were world champion ballroom dancers, and his dad Corky was a professional dancer on Season 7 of Dancing With The Stars. Mark's second middle name (yes, second of two middle names) is Corky. (His first middle name is Alexander, by the way.)|
Mark moved to London with his family as a child and began competing in dance competitions. He grew up with siblings and fellow DWTS pros Derek and Julianne Hough, who lived and trained with his parents. Mark and Julianne partnered to win Junior Latin American and Junior Olympics dance championships.
Mark began competing on Dancing With The Stars in Season 5, when he and partner Sabrina Bryan were controversially eliminated in mid-season despite stellar early performances, including a perfect 30 for their paso doble in Week 4. Mark came back to win the DWTS title in Season 6 with partner Kristi Yamaguchi.
Mark and Sabrina dated for a while after their DWTS partnership. More recently, Mark has been seen out and about with new girlfriend Joanna Pacitti, who was booted from her own reality show, American Idol. When not competing on DWTS, Mark and his close friend Derek Hough are members of the Ballas Hough Band.
MARK BALLAS ON DANCING WITH THE STARS
MARK BALLAS PHOTOS | MORE PHOTOS OF MARK BALLAS
Mark Ballas and Melissa Joan Hart
Mark Ballas and Shawn Johnson
Season 6 champions Mark Ballas and Kristi Yamaguchi
Mark Ballas and Sabrina Bryan
Mark Ballas and Kristi Yamaguchi
Mark Ballas and Kim Kardashian