October 2008

Kim Kardashian and Mark Ballas - Dancing With the Stars 2008

Kim Kardasian
PROFESSION:
Actress, model and reality television star

BACKGROUND:
Actress, model and reality television star, Kim Kardashian shot to stardom after the first airing of her hit E! reality series, Keeping up with the Kardashians. The series follows the exploits of Kim, her siblings, her mother Kris, and her stepfather, Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner. Kardashian recently completed her first feature film, Disaster Movie and will also be seen on The N’s series Beyond the Break.

Mark Ballas
ACHIEVEMENTS:
British Juvenile Ballroom and Latin American dance champ
US Open to the World, British Open to the World and International Open to the World Junior Latin American Champ
Junior Olympics Gold Medal Winner
British Open to the World, US Open to the World, International Open to the World twice, United Kingdom, Youth Latin American Dance Champion

STATS:
Style: Latin
Nationality: American
Based in: London, England
Status: Not Currently Competing

BACKGROUND:
After a stunning elimination in Season 5 with partner Sabrina Bryan, Mark partnered Kristi Yamaguchi to the championship in Season 6.

Mark was born in Houston, Texas to Corky and Shirley Ballas, two of the biggest names in dance. When he was very young, they moved to London, England where he began his performing career. He joined the Italia Conti Academy of Dramatic Arts Associate School at age 4, where his training in acting and singing/dancing began. At age 11, he earned a full-time spot at the Academy. He also earned a full scholarship to the college and won performer of the year in 2005.

Mark has also performed in theater. He played the lead in the musical Copa Cabana, as well as playing roles in Maria de Buenos Aires, The Buddy Holly Musical and at the London Palladium.

His dancing partner, Julianne Hough, and her brother Derek Hough moved to England when they were young and lived with Mark and his parents. There, they were trained by Mark’s parents, Corky and Shirley Ballas. They became close friends and still are to this day.

Mark’s biggest passion is his band “Almost Amy.” Together with his best friend and fellow dancer, Derek Hough, they write and perform all their original music. This season Mark’s father, Corky, is also on Dancing with the Stars.

Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer - Dancing With the Stars 2008

Lance Bass
PROFESSION:
Pop star

BACKGROUND:
Lance Bass has sold over 50 million records as a member of the phenomenally successful pop group *NSYNC. He also executive produced and starred in a number of film and television projects. In 2002 he successfully trained to be a cosmonaut at Russia’s Star City and was certified by both the Russian Space Program and NASA for a mission aboard a Soyuz capsule. Lance has also released his memoir, Out of Sync, for Simon Spotlight Entertainment.

Lacey Schwimmer
ACHIEVEMENTS:
2007 – 1st Place: World Swing Dance Championships
7 time US Open Swing Dance Champion
2007 – So You Think You Can Dance Finalist
2006 – 1st Place: US National Youth Latin Championships
2006 – Emerald Ball Youth Latin Champion

CELEBRITY PARTNER:
Lance Bass

STATS:
Style: Latin and West Coast Swing
Nationality: American
Based in: Studio City
Status: Not currently competing

BACKGROUND:
Lacey was born into a family of championship dancers and grew up in Moreno Valley, California. Her parents are Laurie Kauffman and noted West Coast Swing dancer, Buddy Schwimmer. She is the younger sister of Benji Schwimmer, winner of the second season of So You Think You Can Dance.

Although she began dancing at age 6, it wasn’t until she hit her teens that she realized that this was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She was chosen as one of the Top 20 contestants for season 3 of So You Think You Can Dance on FOX. Schwimmer has finished top at the U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships and has won numerous U.S. titles.

Some of her appearances include Christina Aguilera’s pop video clip “Candyman” as a jitterbugger, a cameo appearance in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody in the episode, “Loosely Ballroom”, and Jon Chu and Adam Sevani’s Biggest Online Dance Battle against M&M.

Lacey danced at the MTV Movie Awards 2008 alongside Adam Sandler and was cast to dance in Adam Shankman’s upcoming film Bedtime Stories starring Adam Sandler. Currently Lacey is part of the iHollywood Dance faculty and is also teaching master classes in Norway. She is going to be judging the World Swing Championships in September 2008.

Brooke Burke and Derek Hough - Dancing With the Stars 2008

Brook Burke
PROFESSION:
Actress, host, entrepreneur

BACKGROUND:
A host, actress, entrepreneur and celebrity mom, Brooke Burke has truly done it all. She has graced numerous magazine covers, has her own top-selling swimsuit calendars, and is regularly ranked in men’s magazines as one of the sexiest women in the world. Recognized worldwide as host of the hit travel series Wild On!, Brooke has since hosted several high profile network series, including Rock Star: INXS and Rock Star: Supernova. On the acting front, she has guest-starred on such television series as Las Vegas, Less Than Perfect, Eve, It’s All Relative, The Bernie Mac Show, Monk, Rock Me Baby and That’s Life. Brooke is a mother of four and recently launched her own babystore BabooshBaby.com, a site where she shares her secrets (and some products she used) to get back in shape after giving birth.

Derek Hough
ACHIEVEMENTS:
World Under 21 Latin American Champion
Two-time Open British Champion (Blackpool)
Two-time International ‘Open to the World Champion’
Two-time US Open Champion

STATS:
Style: Latin
Nationality: American
Based in: London, England
Status: Not Currently Competing

BACKGROUND:
In Season 6, Derek and partner Shannon Elizabeth finished sixth, while in Season 5, Derek and partner Jennie Garth reached fifth place.

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Derek has been dancing since he was 11 years old. He moved to London at the young age of 12 with his sister, Julianne, to live and train with his dance coaches, Shirley and Corky Ballas. While living in their house, he became best friends with their son, Mark Ballas, with whom he also started a band.

In addition to a successful dance career, Derek also performed on London’s West End and played the lead in Footloose. He tried to juggle dancing and theater, but found it to be too difficult. He recently took a break from competing to focus on acting and singing.

Derek is young, charismatic, and loves to entertain. He was one of the dancers on the first Dancing With the Stars Tour and is currently a choreographer on the BBC (UK) hit show, Dance X. He’s looking forward to bringing all of his creative visions to the Dancing with the Stars ballroom.

Jeff Ross
PROFESSION:
Comedian

BACKGROUND:
Comedian Jeffrey Ross a.k.a. the “Roastmaster General,” has delivered numerous show stopping performances at celebrity roasts honoring the likes of William Shatner, Hugh Hefner, Donald Trump, Pamela Anderson, Bob Saget and Emmitt Smith, inspiring New York Magazine to crown him The Meanest Man in Comedy. As a comic, Jeff has appeared on several late night and morning shows Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The View. Jeff’s other TV credits include Weeds and C.S.I. He has also appeared in such films as the Farrelley Brothers’ Stuck on You, and the critical sensation, The Aristocrats. Jeff’s comedy special, Jeffrey Ross: No Offense – Live From New Jersey, was shot in his home state before a live crowd in Atlantic City. It aired on Comedy Central in August and will be released on DVD in October. Jeff continues to tour regularly.

Edyta Sliwinska
ACHIEVEMENTS:
Emerald Ball Latin Amateur Champion
1st Place – 2001 International Grand Ball (San Francisco)
1st Place – 2001 Holiday Ball (Las Vegas, Nevada)

STATS:
Style: Latin
Nationality: Polish
Based in: Los Angeles
Status: Not Currently Competing

BACKGROUND:
Edyta most recently reached the finals with partner Jason Taylor in Season 6, finishing second. She partnered boxing champion Evander Holyfield in Season 1, where they came in 5th place. In Season 2 she and George Hamilton also came in 5th. During Season 3, she partnered actor Joey Lawrence and they came in 3rd place. Season 4, Edyta partnered actor John Ratzenberger into 6th place. She is the only professional dancer to appear in all seven seasons of Dancing with the Stars.

Edyta comes from a working class Polish background and has made many sacrifices to pursue her dream to become the world’s greatest Latin dancer. She misses her family greatly but feels she is on the road to stardom in the dancing world so the sacrifice is worth it.

Ted McGinley
PROFESSION:
Actor

BACKGROUND:
Ted McGinley’s extensive television credits include Married with Children, Hope & Faith, Happy Days, recurring roles on the critically-acclaimed series The West Wing, Sports Night, Charlie Lawrence, Dynasty, and The Love Boat. He has also starred in such films as Pearl Harbor, Daybreak, Dick, Major League: Back to the Minors, Wayne’s World 2, and the cult hit Revenge of the Nerds.

Inna Brayer
ACHIEVEMENTS:
2007 – Current US Amateur 10 Dance Champion

STATS:
Style: Latin
Nationality: Russian
Based in: Brooklyn
Status: Competes with partner Pavel Pashkov

BACKGROUND:
Born in Moscow and raised in America since the age of 2, Inna has been dancing since the age of 7. Her life has been a whirlwind of events from the very beginning, from travelling around the world to compete to practicing long hours on a daily basis.

Dancing was never just a hobby for her, but more of a lifestyle. Inna and her partner, Pavel, placed 11th at the World Championship in Tokyo, and placed 9th at the World Cup in Vancouver. The couple represented the U.S. at 6 world championships and are 3 time U.S. Amateur Champions. Taliat and Marina Tarsinov have been a major impact on their career together. They are still competing after 5 years, and are the current representatives to the worlds.

Pavel Pashkov & Inna Brayer started dancing together in 2003 as Youth Currently they are registered as a couple in USA. They dance in Amateur.