Derek Hough

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Derek Hough
Derek Hough in 2012.jpg
Hough at Good Morning America in 2012
Born(1985-05-17) May 17, 1985 (age 28)
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
OccupationDancer, choreographer, singer, musician, actor, producer
Years active2007–present
RelativesJulianne Hough (sister)
AwardsOutstanding Choreography
2013: Dancing with the Stars
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Derek Hough
Derek Hough in 2012.jpg
Hough at Good Morning America in 2012
Born(1985-05-17) May 17, 1985 (age 28)
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
OccupationDancer, choreographer, singer, musician, actor, producer
Years active2007–present
RelativesJulianne Hough (sister)
AwardsOutstanding Choreography
2013: Dancing with the Stars

Derek Hough (/ˈhʌf/; born May 17, 1985) is an American dancer and choreographer. He is known for his work, since September 2007, on the U.S. television dance-competition series Dancing with the Stars, on which he has won five seasons. He also won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography in 2013 for three routines that he choreographed on the show.

Hough has also acted in stage productions such as in the 2006 original production of Footloose: The Musical at the Novelo Theatre in London's West End.

He holds a world champion title in Under 21 Latin American Dance.[1]

Early life[edit]

Hough grew up the fourth of five children in a Latter-day Saint (Mormon) family in Sandy, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City.[2] He is the son of Marianne and Bruce Hough, and has four sisters, three who are older and Julianne, who is younger. All four of Hough's grandparents were dancers, and his parents met while on a ballroom dancing team in college, in Idaho.

When Hough was 12 years old, his parents sent him to London to live and study with dance coaches, Corky and Shirley Ballas. Hough's sister Julianne joined him in London several months later. Originally intending to stay for a year, Hough remained in London for ten years. (Julianne returned after five years.) The Ballases helped tutor the two Hough children alongside their own son, Mark Ballas, schooling them at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. They received training in song, theater, gymnastics and many forms of dance, including jazz, ballet and tap. The three children formed their own pop music trio 2B1G ("2 Boys, 1 Girl") and performed at dance competitions in the UK and the U.S., and showcased UK television show.[3][4]

He attended and subsequently taught at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts.[5]


Hough and his sister Julianne Hough at the 2014 Kaleidoscope Ball


Hough is a former IDSF World Youth Latin Champion (2002) for Poland with Aneta Piotrowska. He has won the LA Outstanding Dancer of the Year and the New York Dance Alliance Outstanding Dance awards.[4]

Hough is one of Bruno Tonioli's panelists on BBC One's DanceX, the first episode of which aired on July 14, 2007.[6] Hough choreographed and performed in Cheryl Cole's Parachute music video, after being introduced to her by Tonioli.

On April 18, 2013, Hough announced that he had started working with world champion ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White[7] on a number for their short dance program that had to contain quickstep and foxtrot rhythms.[8][9] About this opportunity, Hough said it was an honor that they asked him to do it.

I started working on a very special routine that's not for the show [Dancing with the Stars]. I'm choreographing a number for our world champion ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White to perform at the Olympics next year. They graciously asked me to do it and how could I say no? It's truly an honor and they're amazing.[7]

On September 22, 2013, for the first time ever, the category for Outstanding Choreography for the Emmy Awards was moved to the Primetime Live Show, and all of the nominees in the category were to create and perform a number with the host of the show, Neil Patrick Harris. Hough, who was nominated for Dancing with the Stars, was part of that number, along with the other nominees.[10] Ken Ehrlich, the executive producer of the show, stated, "It's definitely going to be an original number, something that hasn't been done before. It's going to utilize the talents of all of them to put this number together as choreographers."[11] Hough then went on to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography.[12]

Dancing with the Stars[edit]

Hough made his first appearance on Dancing With The Stars in season four (week 6) as a guest instructor with Julianne and Apolo Anton Ohno.[13] He then joined the cast of professional instructors in season five and was paired with Jennie Garth.[14] Hough and Garth eliminated in the semi-finals finishing the competition in fourth place.[15]

For season six, Hough was paired with actress Shannon Elizabeth.[16] They were eliminated from the show on April 29, 2008, finishing the competition in sixth place.[17]

For season seven, Hough was partnered with model/TV host Brooke Burke.[18] In rehearsal on October 4, 2008, Hough tripped and fell, hitting his head on the floor and momentarily blacked out. He was sent to the hospital, but sustained no injuries.[19] Hough and Burke earned the mirror ball trophy and won season seven on November 25, 2008.[20]

For season eight, Hough was paired with rapper Lil' Kim. They were eliminated on May 5, 2009, from the show finishing in fifth place.[21]

For season nine, Hough was partnered with model Joanna Krupa. They were eliminated during week nine, the semi-finals, on November 17, 2009, finishing fourth.

For season ten, Hough won with partner Nicole Scherzinger, the lead singer from the singing group Pussycat Dolls[22] and former member of Eden's Crush.

For season eleven, Hough won with actress Jennifer Grey, known for her film roles on Dirty Dancing and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Hough did not participate in season 12 in order to be a part of the film COBU 3D (later renamed to Make your Move 3D), but he did return for season 13. For season 13, he was partnered with actress and TV host Ricki Lake, known playing the original Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray. Lake scored consistently high the whole season and ended up in third place.

For season 14, Hough partnered with television personality Maria Menounos. In week seven, the couple earned the first 30 of the season and topped the leader board the first time in the season. The couple made it to the semi-finals but were eliminated after they finished at the top of the leader board. Menounos became the second celebrity in Dancing With the Stars history to be eliminated on a night where she came in first place with the judges (the first was Willa Ford in season three).

For season 15, Hough was paired with season eight champion, Shawn Johnson. They were runners-up to Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani.

On July 27, 2012 Hough announced that season 15 would be his last, calling it his "last hurrah".[23]

Hough then announced on February 22, 2013 that he would be back for season 16, stating on his Twitter account, “Wasn’t sure if I was able to do this season because of my other projects, but worked it out so I can do both. #pumped.”.[24] He was partnered with country singer and former American Idol contestant, Kellie Pickler. Pickler was crowned season 16 champion, marking the fourth time Derek won the Mirror Ball trophy, and made him the only pro to have won four Mirror Balls.

On August 2, 2013, Hough confirmed that he would be back for season 17 via an interview with Access Hollywood.[25] The cast for season 17 was announced on September 4, 2013. Hough's new partner for season 17 is Glee star Amber Riley.[26][27] Riley was crowned season 17 champion, historically marking the fifth time Hough has won the Mirror Ball trophy, and made him once again the only pro to have won five Mirror Balls.[28]

For season 18 Hough is paired with paralympic snowboarder, Amy Purdy as it was announce on March 4, 2014 on GMA.[29]


Hough's DWTS pro average is 26.99.[citation needed] Joanna Krupa's Argentine Tango and Shawn Johnson's Fusion are not included in his average.

He is the current[when?] reigning champion on the show, being the first and only professional dancer to ever win five Mirror Ball Trophies and the first who achieved twice back-to-back wins. He has earned 31 perfect scores of 30s and 164 perfect 10s over the seasons (the perfect score and tens Johnson got with Ballas are not included).

Hough is the only pro of the show who won all ten team/group dances that he was part of during the seasons. As well, Hough is the only professional dancer to score a perfect 10 with each one of his celebrity partners.

Hough and Riley, his dance partner for season 17, got a 27 on the first week of competition, dancing the Cha cha. This is the highest score ever given on the first week on the show. It was only given once in the past to Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas on season six, when they danced the foxtrot. Later, on season 18, Charlie White also got the same score for his first dance.

Celebrity partners[edit]
5Jennie Garth4th25.7
6Shannon Elizabeth6th24.5
7Brooke Burke1st27.1
8Lil' Kim5th25.8
9Joanna Krupa4th25.5
10Nicole Scherzinger1st27.5
11Jennifer Grey1st27.2
13Ricki Lake3rd26.7
14Maria Menounos4th26.8
15Shawn Johnson2nd27.9
16Kellie Pickler1st27.4
17Amber Riley1st27.8
18Amy Purdy
Performance history[edit]

Season 5: celebrity partner Jennie Garth; average: 25.7; placed: 4th

Season 6: celebrity partner: Shannon Elizabeth; average: 24.5; placed: 6th

Season 7: celebrity partner: Brooke Burke; average: 27.1; placed: 1st

Season 8: celebrity partner: Lil' Kim; average: 25.8; placed: 5th

Season 9: celebrity partner: Joanna Krupa; average: 25.5; placed: 4th

Season 10: celebrity partner: Nicole Scherzinger; average: 27.5; placed: 1st

Season 11: celebrity partner: Jennifer Grey; average: 27.2; placed: 1st

Season 13: celebrity Partner: Ricki Lake; Average: 26.7; Placed: 3rd

Season 14: celebrity partner: Maria Menounos; average: 26.8; placed: 4th

Season 15: celebrity partner: Shawn Johnson; average: 27.9; Placed: 2nd

Season 16: Celebrity partner: Kellie Pickler; average: 27.4; placed: 1st

Season 17: Celebrity partner: Amber Riley; average: 27.8 ; placed: 1st

Season 18: Celebrity partner: Amy Purdy; average: - ; placed: -


Hough starred as Ren in the 2006 original cast production of Footloose: The Musical at the Novelo Theatre in London's West End, as well as on the 2006 UK national tour. Hough's West End performance earned him a nomination as The Stuart Phillips London Newcomer of the Year in the Theatregoers' Choice Awards.[30] Hough made his Broadway debut on January 8, 2010, starring with Kym Johnson and Mary Murphy in Burn the Floor for the final four performances of the show's Broadway run.

Hough's other theatre work include playing the lead in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Millfield Theatre, and dancing in the company in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium.


Hough was founding member of the Ballas Hough Band (formerly Almost Amy) and he shared lead vocals, played guitar and had several songwriting credits on the band's self-titled debut CD that was released by Hollywood Records in March 2009.

Hough directed Mark Ballas' music video for his song "Get My Name" that was released on MTV on May 14, 2014.[31][32][33]

Hough's first book Breakthrough Moments: Lessons from a Life in Motion will be available on August 5, 2014.[34][35]

Personal life[edit]

Hough dated India de Beaufort from 2000 until 2008.[36] In 2008, Hough began dating actress/model Shannon Elizabeth after they met each other as partners on Dancing With the Stars. Their relationship lasted until August, 2009.[37] Hough's subsequent relationships have included Cheryl Cole (2010-2011) and Nina Dobrev (2013).[36][38][39][40]

Hough is an avid animal lover and can often be spotted out with his rescue dog Romie.[41]


2001Harry Potter and the Philosopher's StoneHogwarts schoolboyUncredited role
2012Rock of AgesCameo appearance
2013Make Your Move 3DDonnyThe movie's first title was Cobu 3D
2007DanceXHimselfPanelist; BBC One channel
2007–14Dancing with the StarsHimself5-time winner; Emmy winner
2011Better With YouPhilip (dance instructor)Episode: "Better With Dancing"
2011When I was 17HimselfS2E35 MTV
2013Family Dance OffHimself/HostABC
2014RidiculousnessHimself/GuestS4E16, MTV
2005Chitty Chitty Bang BangLondon's West End debut
London Palladium
2006Jesus Christ SuperstarJesusMillfield Theatre in London
2006Footloose: The MusicalRenNovelo Theatre
London's West End
2010Burn the FloorBroadway debut
Music video
2008That Song in My HeadCameo appearanceSinger: Julianne Hough
Single: That Song in My Head
200999 TimesPrincipal maleSinger: Kate Voegele
Album: A Fine Mess
2009DownloadSinger: Lil' Kim
Single: Download
2010ParachuteMain dancerSinger: Cheryl Cole
Album: 3 Words
2013Someone Somewhere TonightMain dancerSinger: Kellie Pickler
Single: Someone Somewhere Tonight

Emmy Awards and nominations[edit]

Hough is a one time Emmy winner for Outstanding Choreography and has earned five Creative Arts Primetime Emmy nominations in total for his work on Dancing with the Stars.

The first one was in 2009 when he shared a nomination with his younger sister Julianne Hough for their Jive routine to "Great Balls on Fire".

The second and third ones were in 2010; one as choreographer for his Futuristic Paso Doble routine to "Living on Video" (danced with Joanna Krupa on season nine) and his Quickstep routine to "Anything goes" (danced with Nicole Scherzinger on season ten) and one shared with Chelsie Hightower for their Paso Doble routine to "Malaquena".

Hough had two nominations in the same category in 2013, one shared with Allison Holker for their two contemporary routines to "Heart Cry" (danced with Allison Holker, Melanie Moore, Jessica Lee Keller and Katherine McCormick on season 16) and to "Stars" (danced with Brilynn Rakes on season 16) and one on his own for his Quickstep routine to "Hey Pachuco", his Mambo routine to "Para Los Rumberos" (both danced with Shawn Johnson on All-stars season 15) and his routine to "Walking On Air" (danced with Jaimie Goodwin on season 16). He won the latter.

YearCategoryDance style(s)/song(s)Dance partner(s)Nominee(s)Result
2009Outstanding choreographyJive/"Great Balls on Fire"Julianne HoughDerek Hough
Julianne Hough
2010Outstanding choreographyFuturistic Paso Doble/"Living on video"
Quickstep/"Anything goes"
Joanna Krupa
Nicole Scherzinger
Derek HoughNominated
Paso Doble/"Malaguena"Chelsie HightowerDerek Hough
Chelsie Hightower
2013Outstanding choreographyQuickstep/"Hey Pachuco"
Mambo/"Para Los Rumberos"
Modern/"Walking on Air"
Shawn Johnson
Shawn Johnson
Jaimie Goodwin
Derek HoughWon
Contemporary/"Heart Cry"

Brilynn Rakes
Alison Holker
Melanie Moore
Jessica Lee Keller
Katherine McCormick
Derek Hough
Alison Holker


  1. ^ "Derek Hough & Aneta Piotrowska". Dance Info Net. 
  2. ^ Schadler, Jay (2007-11-09). "Sibling Rivalry: A Brother and Sister Compete to Win on 'Dancing with the Stars'". ABC News. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  3. ^ Shenton, Mark (April 17, 2006). "Derek Hough". Fresh Face. in London. He has a son. 
  4. ^ a b "Derek Hough Bio". Dancing with the Stars. ABC. Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  5. ^ "IMDB Italia Conti". 
  6. ^ "DanceX". BBC. June 29, 2007. 
  7. ^ a b Hough, Derek (April 18, 2013). "Dancing's Derek Hough: "The Team Dance Is in Shambles"". TV Guide. 
  8. ^ White, Charlie (September 14, 2013). "Music Choices (9/14/13)". TeamUSA. 
  9. ^ Rutherford, Lynn (August 27, 2013). "Davis, White mine Middle East for new free dance Team to skate to 'My Fair Lady' for short, 'Scheherazade' for free". Ice Network. 
  10. ^ Nilles, Billy (September 23, 2013). "Emmys 2013: Outstanding Choreography nominees present dance tribute to TV". Zap2it. Retrieved May 14, 2014. 
  11. ^ Block, Alex Ben (August 6, 2013). "UPDATED: The award for choreography is moved to the Primetime Emmys, while reality competition host moves to the Creative Arts Emmys.". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  12. ^ Hough, Derek (September 27, 2013). "Dancing's Derek Hough: I Still Can't Believe I Won an Emmy!". TV Guide. Retrieved May 14, 2014. 
  13. ^ Apolo Anton Ohno & Julianne Hough - Rumba. You Tube. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  14. ^ Mark (August 29, 2007). "Dancing with the stars - Season 5 - Cast announcement". Reality wanted. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  15. ^ Starr Seibel, Deborah (November 21, 2007). "Jennie Garth's Dancing with the Stars Partner: You Can't Stop Juggernaut Marie!". TV Guide. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  16. ^ ""Dancing With The Stars" Season 6 Pairings Announced". Pop Crunch. February 19, 2008. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  17. ^ Cohen, Sandy (April 30, 2008). "Shannon Elizabeth is eliminated from 'Dancing With the Stars'". USAToday. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  18. ^ Kubicek, John (August 25, 2008). "Dancing With the Stars: Official Season 7 Cast Announced". Buddy TV. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  19. ^ Deerwester, Jayme (October 27, 2008). "'Dancing' can be a pain in the you-know-what for some stars". USAToday. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  20. ^ Lang, Derrik (November 26, 2008). "Brooke Burke Crowned "Dancing" Winner". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Lil’ Kim Ousted in Shocking Dancing Elimination". People. May 6, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Nicole Scherzinger Begins 'Dancing With The Stars' Rehearsals With Derek Hough". PopDirt. March 2, 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2010. 
  23. ^ Watch out Derek! Maria Menounos sinks her teeth into Hough as he reveals this is his final Dancing With The Stars
  24. ^ Derek Hough Confirms He’s Returning For Dancing With The Stars Season 16
  25. ^ Lash, Jolie (August 2, 2013). "Derek Hough Returning To Dancing With The Stars, Talks Family Dance Off". Access Hollywood. 
  26. ^ Harnick, Chris (September 4, 2013). "'Dancing With The Stars' Cast: Season 17 Includes Snooki, Bill Nye, Valerie Harper, Elizabeth Berkley". HuffpostTV. 
  27. ^ Bricker, Tierney (September 4, 2013). "Dancing With the Stars Season 17 Cast Announced: Leah Remini, Valerie Harper, Jack Osbourne and Amber Riley to Compete". E Online. 
  28. ^ "'Dancing With The Stars' Season 17 Finale: Amber Riley Wins The Mirror Ball Trophy (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. November 27, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  29. ^ Hare, Breeanna (March 4, 2014). "'Dancing with the Stars': Meet the new cast!". CNN. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Celebrities Worldwide". Celebrities Worldwide. 2006-12-01. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  31. ^ Ballas, Mark (May 14, 2014). "Alright y'all.. The #GetMyName music video is up on! The video was directed by @derekhough, choreographed by...". Mark Ballas' official Instagram. Retrieved May 14, 2014. 
  32. ^ Hough, Derek (May 14, 2014). "I Directed @MarkBallas' video for #GetMyName ! Go check it out". Derek Hough's official Twitter. Retrieved May 14, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Mark Ballas - Get My Name (Video)". MTV. May 14, 2014. Retrieved May 14, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Breakthrough Moments: Lessons from a Life in Motion". Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Breakthrough Moments: Lesson from a Life in Motion (Image)". 
  36. ^ a b "Who's Dated Who". 
  37. ^ "Shannon Elizabeth Still Friends With Ex-Boyfriend Derek Hough". Access Hollywood. March 14, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Daily Entertainment News". 
  39. ^ Chen, Joyce. "Nina Dobrev, Derek Hough Dating: How They Met!". Us Weekly. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  40. ^ Takeda, Allison (October 16, 2013). "Nina Dobrev Splits From Derek Hough: What Went Wrong". Us Weekly. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  41. ^ Weigle, Lauren. "Heavy". Mirrorball Champ Derek Hough: Top Ten Facts You Need To Know. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas
Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson
Nicole Scherzinger & Derek Hough
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani
Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough
Dancing with the Stars (US) winner
Season 7 (Fall 2008 with Brooke Burke)
Season 10 (Spring 2010 with Nicole Scherzinger)
Season 11 (Fall 2010 with Jennifer Grey)
Season 16 (Spring 2013 with Kellie Pickler)
Season 17 (Fall 2013 with Amber Riley)
Succeeded by
Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas
Jennifer Grey & Derek Hough
Hines Ward & Kym Johnson
Amber Riley & Derek Hough
Preceded by
Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas
Dancing with the Stars (US) runner up
Season 15 (Fall 2012 with Shawn Johnson)
Succeeded by
Zendaya & Val Chmerkovskiy
Preceded by
Chelsea Kane & Mark Ballas
Dancing with the Stars (US) third place contestant
Season 13 (Fall 2011 with Ricki Lake)
Succeeded by
William Levy & Cheryl Burke
Preceded by
Ian Ziering & Cheryl Burke
Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower
Hope Solo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dancing with the Stars (US) semi-finalist
Season 5 (Fall 2007 with Jennie Garth)
Season 9 (Fall 2009 with Joanna Krupa)
Season 14 (Spring 2012 with Maria Menounos)
Succeeded by
Marisa Winokur & Tony Dovolani
Chad Ochocinco & Cheryl Burke
Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke
Preceded by
Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke
Dancing with the Stars (US) quarter-finalist
Season 8 (Spring 2009 with Lil' Kim)
Succeeded by
Aaron Carter & Karina Smirnoff