His final performance. After 20 seasons on Dancing With the Stars, Mark Ballas announced his retirement from the show following his third mirrorball win.
“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,” the choreographer, 36, said during the last Dancing with the Stars tour stop in Las Vegas on Sunday, March 12, according to footage shared by a fan via Twitter.
Ballas noted that his family — including wife BC Jean — were in the audience for his final performance. “My mom is here tonight, my dad is here tonight, my wife is here tonight, my wife’s mom and dad are here tonight,” he shared. “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.”
The DWTS pro offered a shout-out to his season 31 partner Charli D’Amelio as well. (The duo won the competition series in November 2022.)
“Charli means the world to me. D’Amelio family, you guys mean the world to me. Thank you for everything,” he concluded. “Thank you guys for a lifetime of memories. I appreciate it. I’m not saying this is the end. This is just the last time I’ll be dancing with a partner.”
After the announcement, fellow DWTS pro Emma Slater brought out the whole cast to celebrate Ballas. “Mark, we love you so much,” she said. “Look at all the cast coming out to see you. Such a champion. I don’t think Dancing with the Stars would have been the same without this guy right here.”
The Texas native previously hinted he wasn’t sure about his future on Dancing With the Stars.
“I don’t know [if I’m coming back],” he exclusively told Us Weekly in November 2022, shortly after winning the mirrorball trophy for the third time. “You know the older I get, I try to stay very present in the moment, you know, and I think that was like a big part of creating these dances.”
Ballas continued: “Every week … I tried to put every aspect of creativity, care, musicality, nuance into each one. I think you can only do that by staying totally in the moment of each time. So, right now I’m in this moment with Charli and … my body couldn’t even fathom a thought of doing this [in] six months, so I’ll let you know down the line.”
The Broadway alum originally joined DWTS in 2007. He competed for 18 more seasons with partners including Kim Kardashian, Candace Cameron Bure and Kristin Cavallari. After winning with Kristi Yamaguchi on season 6 and with Shawn Johnson two seasons later, Ballas confirmed he would be departing after season 25.
“I’ll miss competing and creating outside the box,” he wrote via Instagram in 2017. “However I am looking forward to this new chapter and venture that is beginning shortly. I will soon have news for you all on where you can find me, I hope to see many of you there.”
In September 2022, ABC broke the news that Ballas would return to the series for the first time in five seasons.
Sign up for Us Weekly’s free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
At the time, the Emmy nominee gushed about getting to dance in front of an audience again, telling Us, “It felt great. It felt the same but new, fresh [and] nostalgic. … It was a good time. It felt really good tonight.”