Mark Ballas has hung up his dancing shoes. The three-time and reigning “Dancing with the Stars” champ announced he is retiring as a pro at the final stop of the “Dancing with the Stars Live 2023” tour in Las Vegas on Sunday.
“I’ve done 20 seasons now. I started this journey when I was 21, 22, and honestly being able to dance and perform for you fans, you guys are the best fans. Thank you,” Ballas told the audience (watch below). “My mom is here tonight, my dad is here tonight, my wife is here tonight, my wife’s mom and dad are here tonight. So I just want to finish this by saying that this will be the last time you see me dance in this capacity. I’m coming to a close tonight. This is going to be my last dance.”
Ballas assured fans that they haven’t seen the last of him — just no longer on the dance floor. “I’m not saying this is the end,” he added. “This is just the last time I will be dancing with a partner.”
Sorry for the wait here’s the video https://t.co/0vVwbOKsOc pic.twitter.com/Wjb53sYEZF
— Aya (@BeanBallas) March 13, 2023
SEE Everything to know about ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 32
The 36-year-old made his “Dancing” debut in Season 5 in 2007 with partner Sabrina Bryan, finishing in seventh place in one of the show’s most shocking eliminations. He won Season 6 with Kristi Yamaguchi and Season 8 with Shawn Johnson. After a five-year break, he returned for Season 31 last fall and took home his third Mirrorball trophy with Charli D’Amelio, who was by Ballas’ side for his retirement announcement before they performed their freestyle. Ballas and six-time champ Derek Hough are the only pros to have won “Dancing” at least three times.
Ballas is the third “Dancing” retirement in the last few months. Fellow pro Cheryl Burke and head judge Len Goodman called it quits after Season 31 concluded in November. There’s been speculation that Goodman will be replaced on the judges’ table, perhaps by a former pro, but Ballas’ mother, “Strictly Come Dancing” head judge Shirley Ballas, said she’s been told the panel will remain at three.
Season 32 of “Dancing with the Stars” will premiere on Disney+ later this year.
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