Dancing With the Stars Finalists, Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas
[Source: ABC News]
George C. Ballas Sr., best known for his invention of the Weed Eater, recently passed leaving a legacy of dance and entrepreneurship. Though his Weed Eater established his reputation in the 1970s, it was during the 1960s that he created and ran the Dance City USA Studio in Houston, Texas. His wife, flamenco dancer Maria Louisa Ballas, also taught at Dance City as well as appearing in several films. Before selling the studio in 1964, Ballas grew the business to 120 instructors in a 43,000 feet facility that became known as the world’s largest dance studio.
His son, Corky Ballas has built a career in ballroom dance with an emphasis on Latin dance competition. Corky’s wife Shirley Ballas was his competitive dance partner for many years and many awards though, given the realities of modern fame, many people probably think of him as Cloris Leachman’s partner on Dancing with the Stars.
His grandson, Mark Ballas, has also ridden the Dancing with the Stars train to fame.