Birth Name: Mark Alexander Corky Ballas
Place of Birth: Houston, Harris, Texas, U.S.
Date of Birth: May 24, 1986
*father – Greek, Mexican [including Spanish]
*mother – English, Irish, as well as at least 1/64th Malagasy
Mark Ballas is an American dancer, choreographer, singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. He is well known for appearing on the show Dancing with the Stars.
Mark was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Shirley Ballas (born Shirley Annette Rich) and Corky Ballas (Mark Alexander Ballas), both professional dancers. His father, who is American, is of half Greek and half Mexican (including Spanish) descent. His mother, who is English, has English and Irish ancestry. Mark moved to the U.K. with his family at a young age. He returned to the U.S. in 2007.
Mark’s mother Shirley Ballas appeared on the British series Who Do You Think You Are? (2018), where Shirley discovered that her South African great-grandfather George Francis Rich was of mixed race. His parents were John Rich and Mary Elizabeth Otto. Mary Elizabeth’s mother was named Caroline Otto. Mary Elizabeth’s maternal grandmother, also named Caroline Otto, was of Madagascar (Malagasy) Muslim descent. Mary Elizabeth’s father or maternal grandfather was probably Isaac DaCosta, who was most likely a Sephardi Jew.
Mark is married to BC Jean, a singer, songwriter, and actress. They comprise the singer and songwriter duo Alexander Jean.
Mark’s paternal grandfather was George Charles Ballas (the son of Charles P. Ballas and Maria Charles Lymnaos/Lymneous). George was born in Louisiana, to ethnic Greek parents; his mother was from Moschonisia, Turkey. George invented the first string trimmer, the Weed Eater, in 1971.
Mark’s paternal grandmother is Maria/Marie Louisa Marulanda (the daughter of Alejandro/Alexander R. Marulanda and Leonor/Leanor de Jesus Peña). Maria Louisa was born in Texas. Alejandro was born in Texas, of Mexican descent. Leanor was Mexican.
Mark’s maternal grandfather is George A. Rich (the son of George Rich and Ellen “Nellie” McKenna). Mark’s great-grandfather George was a boxer, and was the son of George Francis Rich, who was born in Cape Town, South Africa, then a British colony; and of Elizabeth Glover. Mark’s great-grandmother Ellen had Irish ancestry.
Mark’s maternal grandmother is Audrey Standring (the daughter of Frank Standring and Daisy Sutton). Audrey was born in Wallasey, Cheshire, England. Frank was the son of John Henry Standring and Sarah Jane Howarth. Daisy was the daughter of George Sutton and Clara Eccles.
Sources: Genealogy of Mark Ballas – https://www.geni.com
Mark’s paternal grandmother, Maria/Marie Louisa Marulanda, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org