Corky & Shirley Ballas
Meet Your Champions Corky & Shirley Ballas
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 (44,000 square feet under one roof). Housed within the 44,000 square feet of studio space known far and wide as "Dance City USA", existed the largest variety of self-improvement classes that were ever under one roof. 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 (The studio specialized in Latin Ballroom Dancing). In addition to the dance arts as well as mind development programs, Dance City USA was also the home of many children's programs produced for local television. Corky's outgoing personality was a natural for many spots in these shows. Along the way, he also did commercials for Globe, Target, Foleys, and many other Houston area department stores.
Corky, with all his early talent training however, was as normal as apple pie when it came to the Disco era. This was the point in his life when he discovered that out of everything he had tried through the years, dancing was his greatest love.
Shirley began her dancing career at the ripe old age of two years. As she danced away her first nine years in her tiny tutu her mother was quick to recognize her talent and sent her to St. Chad's Church where she learned her basic techniques in International Style Latin, and Modern Ballroom Dancing. From there, Shirley's determination never waivered. She chose her dearest love, International-Latin Style Ballroom Dancing. By the age of 21 Shirley held every title available to her; The British Open, The Star, The European, The International, The Canadian Classic Du Quebec and yes, even The U.S. Open (and many more). She was now the NUMBER ONE Latin Dancer in the World!
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 Latin Style Champions and went on to successfully defended their title 7 times.