Derek Bruce Hough was born on May 17th 1985 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Bruce Hough and Marianne Hough. He has four sisters, three who are older (Sharee,Marabeth and Katherine) and Julianne, who is younger. All four of Hough's grandparents were dancers, and his parents met while pn a ballroom dancing team in college, in Idaho. He is also a cousin to Riker, Rydel, Rocky and Ross Lynch of R5 and Ryland Lynch, their manager.
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.
He attended and subsequently taught at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts.
Hough is a former IDSF World Youth Latin Champion (2002) as well as a Blackpool U-21 Latin title (2003) for Poland with Aneta Piotrowska. He has won the LA Outstanding Dancer of the Year and the New York Dance Alliance Outstanding Dance awards.
Hough is one of Bruno Tonioli's panelists on BBC One's DanceX, the first episode of which aired on July 14, 2007. 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 on a number for their short dance program that had to contain quickstep and foxtrot rhythms. Davis and White went on to win the gold medal in the Sochi Olympics with the routine. About this opportunity, Hough said:
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.On September 22, 2013, for the first time, 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. 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." Hough then went on to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography.
On March 18, 2014, Hough, along with his sister, Julianne, announced a summer tour to over 40 cities across the U.S. and Canada, called "Move Live on Tour", which would include dancing and singing from both of them. The tour kicked off on May 25, 2014 in Park City, Kansas, and for the choreography of the tour, they worked with Nappytabs. Due to the success and the show being sold out in many cities before the tour even started, the Houghs decided to add one more show in Los Angeles (their final stop on July 26, 2014), which had also been sold out.
Dancing with the Stars
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. He then joined the cast of professional instructors in season five and was paired with Jennie Garth. Hough and Garth were eliminated in the semi-finals finishing the competition in fourth place.
For season six, Hough was paired with actress Shannon Elizabeth. They were eliminated from the show on April 29, 2008, finishing the competition in sixth place.
For season seven, Hough was partnered with model/TV host Brooke Burke. 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. Hough and Burke earned the mirror ball trophy and won season seven on November 25, 2008.
For season eight, Hough was paired with rapper Lil' Kim. They were eliminated on May 5, 2009, from the show finishing in fifth place.
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 was partnered with Nicole Scherzinger, the lead singer from the singing group Pussycat Dolls and former member of Eden's Crush. The couple reached to the finals and won the competition on May 25, 2010. That was the second win for Hough.
For season eleven, Hough won for the third time with actress Jennifer Grey, known for her film roles on Dirty Dancing and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, on November 23, 2010.
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). 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 (All Stars), 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". Few months later, on February 22, 2013, Hough announced 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.". He was partnered with country singer and former American Idol contestant, Kellie Pickler. On May 21, 2013, 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. The cast for season 17 was announced on September 4, 2013. Hough's partner for season 17 was Glee star Amber Riley. 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.
For season 18, Hough was paired with paralympic snowboarder, Amy Purdy. In the finale on May 20, 2014, the couple was runner-up for the season, behind Meryl Davis and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
On August 13, 2014, ABC announced that Hough would be back for season 19 and in September, it was announced that he would be paired with YouTube personality Bethany Mota. They were eliminated from the show finishing in fourth place.
On February 24, 2015, Hough was announced as one of the returning professional dancers on season 20 despite previously reporting he would not be taking part in this season. He is partnered with gymnast Nastia Liukin.
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 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Awards. 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 made two cameo appearances; one in 2001 in the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and one in 2012 in the movie Rock of Ages, where his sister Julianne was playing the female lead role. In 2011, Hough took one season break from Dancing with the Stars to star in his first movie Make Your Move (original title Cobu 3D) that premiered three years later, on March 31, 2014 in Los Angeles.
On April 25, 2011, Hough made a guest appearance on the ABC show Better with You as a dance instructor. On August 14, 2014, it was announced that Hough would join the cast of the ABC TV series Nashville for a multi-episode arc as Noah West.
On January 13, 2015, it was announced that Hough would appear in the New York Spring Spectacular, at Radio City Music Hall. Due to the production, it was announced that Hough would not return for the 10th anniversary of Dancing with the Stars, however, during the cast announcement, Hough and partner Nastia Liukin were revealed as surprise contestants.
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.
Hough's first book Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion came out on August 5, 2014 and managed to enter The New York Times Best Seller list on August 24, 2014.
Along with Ballas, Hough bought a house in order to flip it for profit. The process of the home renovation was broadcast as a four episode series on HGTV and it was called Mark & Derek's Excellent Flip. The show aired on April 28, 2015 and May 5, 2015.
Hough dated India de Beaufort from 2000 until 2008. In 2008, he began dating actress/model Shannon Elizabeth, after they met each other as partners on Dancing With the Stars. Their relationship lasted until August 2009. Hough's subsequent relationships have included Cheryl Cole (2010-11) and Nina Dobrev (2013).
Hough is an avid animal lover and can often be spotted out with his rescue dog Romie.
On February 22, 2014, Hough was part of the "Bust a Move" event for breast health that took place in Ottawa, Canada, where he led a fitness session. During the event, $1,048,258.60 was raised for breast cancer.