Dancing With The Stars Mark Ballas Featured In Westlake Magazine November 2011

In a new article with Westlake Magazine, Mark Ballas tells them how Dancing With The stars has a way of sucking you in as a fan. “It keeps getting bigger and better each season,” says Mark. He explains how reluctant he was to do the show at first and why. He spills on his life, family, his whole dance career as well as how he got into music. Before reading below, would you like to guess what Mark’s biggest challenge so far in doing Dancing With The Stars? If you guessed dancing with Bristol Palin, you are correct. Informative, touching article with Mark at his rawest. Be sure to read it in full at the link as well as seeing another picture.

Ballas was in London at the time he first heard of the show. Born in Houston, he relocated to London as a child. He didn’t move to Los Angeles until he got the job with Dancing With the Stars at age 21.

He began dancing at a young age. He was inspired by his parents, Corky and Shirley Ballas, champion ballroom dancers. “I loved music and I’ve loved to move and perform ever since I was real little” he says. “Once I showed a little potential my mom got me in classes. She always kept me in class.”

No one dared make fun of him. “If guys tried to say , Oh you dance,” I would say, ” While you’re out in the field with a bunch of dudes, I’m in the studio with a load of chicks! No one bullied me and if they did, I was always that kid that didn’t care if people made fun of me. I love dancing and being in class with kids that share the same passion. We were always in it together and were always supportive. Derek (Hough) is my foster brother and we did everything together since we were 11 years old, so I’ve always surrounded myself with those kinds of people.”

He had been doing musical theater when he was offered the job with DWTS.

“The dance world is very small. When they heard I was finished competing and I had sort of won everything possible in my division, they offered me a space. I was a little reluctant at first, but it was a wonderful opportunity to move to Los Angeles and start a new path and then my foster brother Derek was called five minutes after I was, so that was a sign and I thought we should go, and off we went.”

The reluctance, Ballas says, stemmed simply from the fact he was leaving home. Hough and he arrived in LA with no money, no car, and nowhere to live, but as soon as they found an apartment the following day, they set about to adjust to a new life.

“It was a culture shock” Ballas admits.

He definitely rose to the challenges of his living circumstances and faced new ones, with the partners he was given. His greatest challenge on the show thus far, he says, was working with Bristol Palin. “And finding something different to do every week,” Ballas says. She had never done acting or dancing or anything like that. The difficult thing was to do something to change it up week by week, but to still keep it in her comfort zone”.

Also, if you didn’t see Mark on the Nancy Grace show last Friday night, be sure to watch him below. He gave her some great advise.