Derek Hough Biography

(Professional Dancer and Six Times Winner of the Dance Competition Series 'Dancing with the Stars')

Birthday: May 17, 1985 (Taurus)

Born In: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Derek Hough is an American dancer, specializing in Latin and ballroom dance. He is also a choreographer, director, actor, musician, singer, and song-writer. He was introduced to fine arts by his mother when he was young. He took up dancing at a young age and went on to learn under the guidance of Corky and Shirley Ballas. Derek Hough is best known for his appearance in ABC network’s reality dance series ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ He has been associated with the show for several seasons and won six times. Being a professional dancer, he has competed in several contests around the world and has traveled to places like Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Ireland, and Czechoslovakia. He has also appeared in several theatre productions like ‘Footloose: The Musical’ and ‘Burn the Floor.’ He has played many cameo roles in feature films and television series as well. His dance performance has earned him prestigious awards like the ‘Primetime Emmy Awards.’ Apart from being a dancer, Derek is also a singer and multi-instrumentalist. He can play piano, drums, and the guitar.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Derek Bruce Hough

Age: 38 Years, 38 Year Old Males


father: Bruce Robert Hough

mother: Marriann Hough

siblings: Julianne Hough, Katherine Hough, Marabeth Hough, Sharee Hough

Born Country: United States

Choreographers American Men

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males

Notable Alumni: Italia Conti Academy Of Theatre Arts

U.S. State: Utah

City: Salt Lake City, Utah

More Facts

education: Italia Conti Academy Of Theatre Arts

awards: 2015; 2013 · Dancing with the Stars - Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography
2014 - Young Hollywood Award for Hottest Body (of work)

Childhood & Early Life

Derek Hough was born on May 17, 1985, in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, to Marianne and Bruce Hough. His father was elected as chairman of the ‘Utah Republican Party’ twice.

He has four sisters, namely Sharee, Marabeth, Katherine, and Julianne. Julianne also went on to become an accomplished dancer and choreographer. As a child, he participated in karate, acrobatics, football, and basketball. He was introduced to fine arts by his mother.

He was twelve years when his parents separated; he was then sent to London to study under ballroom dancers Shirley Ballas and Corky Ballas. He spent ten years in London and studied at the ‘Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts’ where he received training in theatre, gymnastics, singing, and several dance forms, including jazz, tap, and ballet.

Along with his sister Julianne and his tutors’ son Mark Ballas, he formed a pop music trio named ‘2B1G’ (2 Boys, 1 Girl) to perform in dance competitions in the US and the UK.

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Between 1998 and 2004, Derek Hough participated in several competitions that took him to several foreign nations like Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Ireland, and Czechoslovakia. In 2002, he won the ‘WDSF World Youth Latin Champion’ as well as the ‘Under-21 Latin’ title at the ‘Blackpool Dance Festival’ in 2003.

Meanwhile in 2001, he made a guest appearance in the feature film ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.’ In 2006, he became part of a theatre cast, playing the lead in ‘Footloose: The Musical.’ He made his Broadway debut later in 2010, with ‘Burn the Floor.’

Meanwhile in 2007, he was one of the panelists for BBC One's reality television show ‘DanceX.’

In 2007, he also made an appearance as a guest instructor in the fourth season of the popular reality dancing show ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ The same year, he joined the crew as a professional instructor. In the following season, he was paired with actress Jennie Garth and the duo reached the semifinals during the season.

In season seven (2008) of ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ Derek Hough appeared with model Brooke Burke. The pair won the season as well as the mirror ball trophy. In the following season of the show, he appeared along with rapper Lil’ Kim.

In season nine of the show, he was paired with model Joanna Krupa. Unfortunately, they were eliminated during semifinals, finishing in the fourth place. For the next season (season ten), he partnered with singer Nicole Scherzinger and they won the season’s final.

Derek Hough has been associated with the show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ for many years, except for two seasons, season 12 and season 22. Celebrities he has partnered with during his time at the show include television personality Maria Menounos, paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy, YouTube personality Bethany Mota, gymnast Nastia Liuki, and wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin.

In 2011, he took a break from reality shows to act in his debut feature film ‘Make Your Move.’ The movie premiered three years later in 2014.

In 2013, he stated that he would be collaborating with ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White for a performance at the 2014 Sochi winter Olympics. The contesting duo went on to win a gold medal for the routine.

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In 2014, he also directed Mark Ballas' music video titled ‘Get My Name.’ He released his first book ‘Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion’ the same year. The book went on to enter ‘The New York Times Best Seller’ list.

In 2015, he made an appearance at the ‘New York Spring Spectacular’ at ‘Radio City Music Hall.’

He bought a house with Mark Ballas in order to flip it for profit. The renovation process was broadcast as a four-episode series titled ‘Mark & Derek's Excellent Flip’ on HGTV in 2015.

The following year, it was announced that he would play the lead in the Broadway production ‘Singin' in the Rain.’ Later that year, ‘BroadwayWorld’ reported that the production had been cancelled due to lack of available theatres. He also choreographed and appeared in the music video ‘The Arena’ alongside performance artist Lindsey Stirling.

He has made special appearances in television series like ‘Jane the Virgin’ (2016). The same year, he played the role of ‘Corny Collins’ in the NBC live broadcast of the musical ‘Hairspray Live.’

In 2017, he was the lead actor, director, and choreographer for the music video of the song ‘I Believe in You,’ which was part of the album ‘Nobody but Me’ by Michael Bublé.

During an interview with ‘Billboard’ in 2017, Hough revealed that he would be performing for ‘Ember,’ an album of the alternative metal band ‘Breaking Benjamin.’

Hough hosted an NBC special titled ‘Return to Downton Abbey: A Grand Event’ in September 2019.

Major Works

Though Derek Hough is known for his skills as a dancer, choreographer, actor, musician, singer, and songwriter, he is best known as a dancer. He came into prominence with his performance in the reality television show ‘Dancing with the Stars.’

Awards & Achievements

In 2013, Derek Hough won the ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ for ‘Outstanding Choreography’ for his work in ‘Hey Pachuco/Para Los Rumberos/Walking on Air.’

The UCLA honored Derek and his sister Julianne Hough with the ‘Kaleidoscope Award’ in 2014. The same year, he was honored with the ‘GLSEN Inspiration Award’ as well. He also won the ‘Young Hollywood Award’ for ‘Hottest Body of the Year.’

In 2015, he won multiple awards for his work in ‘Elastic Heart’ (with Julianne Hough & Tessandra Chavez). These awards include ‘Industry Dance Award’ for ‘America's Favorite TV/Film Performance’ and ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ for ‘Outstanding Choreography.’ The same year, he was voted ‘America's Favorite Choreographer’ at the ‘Industry Dance Awards.’

He was listed as a co-choreographer in ‘MKTO's Classic,’ for which he received the ‘World Choreography Award’ for ‘Television Live Performance’ in 2015.

In 2016, Derek Hough won the ‘Industry Dance Award’ for ‘Favorite Dance Idol.’ The same year, he was honored along with Julianne Hough with the ‘Inspiration Award’ at ‘The Dizzy Feet Foundation's Celebration of Dance Gala.’

Personal Life & Legacy

Derek Hough dated British actress and singer-songwriter India de Beaufort from 2000 to 2008.

In 2008, he met former model and actress Shannon Elizabeth. They were in a relationship for a year. In 2015, he started dating dancer Hayley Erbert. The couple announced their engagement in June 2022.


Apart from dance, he can also play musical instruments like the drums, guitar, and piano.

See the events in life of Derek Hough in Chronological Order

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