"Dancing with the Stars" pro Mark Ballas announced that he will retire after nearly 16 years on the show.
Ballas, 36, who made his debut on the hit series during season 5 in 2007, shared the news during Sunday's final DWTS tour stop at the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
"I started this journey when I was 21, 22. Honestly, being able to dance and perform for you fans, you guys are the best fans. Thank you," Ballas said before noting that his parents, in-laws and wife BC Jean were in attendance for the DWTS tour's final show, according to People.
"So, I just want to finish by saying 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 made the announcement while standing on stage next to his season 31 partner, TikTok star Charli D'Amelio. They won the Mirrorball Trophy in November, marking Ballas' third title.
"I had the best time ever this season, and this freestyle was just a great way to finish it off. This song means the world to me, Charli means the world to me, the D'Amelio family, you guys mean the world to me. Thank you for everything," Ballas said.
"I'm not saying this is the end, [but] this is the last time I will be dancing with a [celebrity] partner. And I wanted to finish this with Charli, and I appreciate you guys so much. I want to do this freestyle for you one more time. Thank you for everything, I appreciate it."
After last season's win with D'Amelio, Ballas admitted on Instagram that he was considering not returning to season 31, saying that he felt as if that chapter of his life "had come to a close."
"After receiving the offer & thinking about it a while, for some strange reason I took the leap & said yes," he shared on Instagram. Ballas was not part of seasons 23, 24, or 26-30 of DWTS.
"After 5 years of not creating in this arena the ideas started flooding out quite quickly, then I had my first meet w/ @charlidamelio," he wrote on Instagram. "As shy & timid as she was for those first few weeks, I knew there was something extremely special in there, which became even more apparent after our first performance."
Ballas praised D'Amelio, saying that he was proud of the work they created.
"I feel honored & privileged to have been your coach, partner, friend & big brother," he said.
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