Corky Ballas has been dancing literally since he was a baby, having been reared in a family with diverse talents as entertainers and entrepreneurs. His mother was a great and talented Flamenco dancer who together with Mr. Ballas owned and operated the largest dance studio in the United States. Such was the creative environment wherein Corky spent many of his childhood days occupied with classes in his favorite subjects; Flamenco, Jazz, and Folk dancing. Also frequented by the young Corky were classes in Tap, Ballet, and Gymnastics and finally Ballroom Dancing.
Chance brought together Corky Ballas and Shirley Stopford during an International Latin Style Competition in Montreal, Canada. Corky and Shirley became Mr. and Mrs. Corky Ballas and two years later became the United States International style Latin Champions and went on to successfully defended their title 7 times.
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 Open” – Champions, and seven times undefeated United States International Latin Champions. They retired in 1996. Ballas judges professional competitions and teaches. He is based in Los Angeles, California and Houston, Texas.
Dancing with the Stars
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.
For Season 11 Ballas was partnered with Florence Henderson. They were eliminated in Week 5 of the competition.