Mark Ballas, the Dancing With the Stars professional dancer who just finished up his seventh season by coming in third with partner Bristol Palin is joining up with the national tour of Burn the Floor and will be in Houston December 14-19.
"People should come to see Burn the Floor because it is bad ass from start to finish. High energy, in your face, awesome dancers, awesome choreography, and it's a spectacle of our sport. People will love it. This is like Dancing With The Stars on steroids," Ballas told Art Attack.
After learning eight routines in two days, Ballas opens tonight in Raleigh, North Carolina, then moves to Houston before taking a Christmas break and then rejoining the tour in Pittsburgh in late December and early January.
"I'm excited for the opportunity to keep dancing and be doing a show over the Christmas holiday. The choreographer [and director Jason Gilkison] is a good friend of mine and I have a lot of friends in the show so I thought it would be great to join. "
Ballas said DWTS is very different from Burn the Floor because on the first, you're dancing with an amateur. "You have to train them, mentor them and go out and perform with them. That's in contrast to BTF," a professional show with professional standards. "It was good to be able to really dance again and get into it and dance how I trained to dance," he said.
Which isn't to say he doesn't enjoy DWTS. "It's one of my favorite seasons I've ever done." He said he enjoyed working with Bristol Palin "just because she was so sweet, so easy to deal with, so wonderful, so eager to learn, open-minded, kind, loving, caring and just fun to spend time with, and to see her journey from the beginning to where she ended up was just remarkable and as a coach just very satisfying."
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But he denied reports that they are an item: "We're just friends."
Ballas was actually born in Houston; moving away to London when he was four. "My parents were very successful ballroom dancers and at the time if you wanted to be professional ballroom dancers the place to train and the place to compete was England." He says that's changed now thanks in part to shows like DWTS, So You Think You Can Dance and America's Best Dance Crew.
"They still hold big competitions in England. But it's definitely branched out more," he said, explaining that it's big in the United States and Asia now. The new TV shows "have opened the doors for many dancers and helped people appreciate the art of what is dance and how hard we all work, and that it's a sport and it's not easy, and it deserves to get recognition."