Corky Ballas has been dancing since he was six years old, he started out as a Flamenco dancer, he then later tried out the style of American Style Latin dancing referred to now as ‘Rhythm’. In this photograph he is dancing an American Style Swing with his teacher Elizabeth Cortez, in the Pro/Am Juvenile Division, in 1966 in Houston Texas . Corky’s dad, George Ballas Sr., owned and operated a 64,000 square foot dance studio: the largest dance studio ever in the world, called Dance City USA, with 125 teachers on payroll. There has never been a studio this large since 1964. Corky’s father sold the studio and later went on to invent the Weed Eater. Corky’s mother was a famous Flamenco Dancer that appeared in several movies and studied with Carmen Amaya in Spain. Corky’s parents are Spanish and Greek.
Corky Ballas did not start International Latin dancing till the age of 18 years old. Corky Ballas was a Disco Champion and got into partner dancing during the Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta Era. The fad died and Corky wanted to continue to compete and dance competition style dancing, there was nothing available. He then found out that there was competition dancing in the International Latin Style all over the World not just in the USA. Corky Ballas was told he was too old to dance Professional Latin, and he started way too late in his life to be a dancer. Corky told his mentor, “You don’t know it yet, but I am going to be the World Champion”. His mentor just laughed and said, “Yeah-ok Corky, sure !” Corky then tried his hand at the International Latin Pro/Am division, as the amateur. Six months later Corky Ballas along with Pro teacher Patrea Lockie became the United States Pro/Am Champion and held this title for three years.
Corky then wanted to try his hand at the Professional ranks, after watching an amazing pro competition in Montreal Canada. The winner of the pro comp at the time was Shirley and her partner Sammy, Corky hired Shirley to train him to dance, she later became his partner. Within eight months Corky Ballas became the United States Champion and held this title for 8 years. Corky and Shirley Ballas appeared on many PBS television broadcasting stations dancing all over the United States, they won many titles all over US.
Still wanting to go higher Corky Ballas then moved to England and studied there for 16 years, became the British National Champion, then winning other prestigious events such as, The International, European, United Kingdom, and WINNER, of the most prestigious title in the World, The Open World British Championship in Blackpool, this championship is the pinnacle in Ballroom dancing and is over 80 years old. He retired from competitive dancing in 1996. In 1998 he then became the “Dual of The Giants Champion”, held at the Royal Albert Hall in London England.
Completing the CYCLE, Corky Ballas is the only United States citizen to win United States Pro/Am Championship as the amateur, then winning the World Professional Latin Title, then winning the World Pro/Am Championships with his student Anne Shapira in 2008 as the professional.
Corky now trains couples to do and master the same goals and principles he has learned to make them champions. It’s a formula, and takes a very strong mind set to lock in and know that you are going in the right direction.
Corky travels the world spreading his knowledge and beliefs to impact others. He is also very well known for his Creative Choreography, music editing, music creation, costume design and show productions.
Corky Ballas is also the author of the Revolutionary Latin Book, SEE IT AND DO IT Rhumba , this is a technique book with over 2000 photographs that teaches you the Rhumba technique with all photos and very little words.
Corky currently has flimed over 100 dance instructional DVDs, his video format he created is used on all instructional dance DVD’s today. Currently he has filmed a series with Dancing With The Stars Karina Smirnoff click to see.
Other DVD’s at this link here teaching Latin Technique, with Strictly Come Dancing Kristina Rihanoff. He is also the author of the Arthur Murray Latin syllabus used in over 200 schools nationwide, creator of Compac Music Disc Passion Series.
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