Derek Hough – ‘Donny’


Derek Hough is an American dancer, choreographer, actor, musician, singer and songwriter. Derek is best known as being the most successful professional dancer on the hit ABC show ‘Dancing With The Stars’, winning the competition show 4 times with celebrity partners Brooke Burke, Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Grey, and Kellie Pickler. Derek began dancing at 11 years old and was described as a dance prodigy. A year later, he moved from Utah to London to live and train with the best coaches in Latin/Ballroom dance at the time.

As a competitive dancer, Derek has achieved the following:  World Under 21 Latin American Champion, Two-time Open British Champion, Two-time International Open to the World Champion, Two-time US Open Champion, LA Outstanding Dancer of the Year, New York Dance Alliance Outstanding Dancer.

While living in London, Derek attended the renowned performing arts school, Italia Conti Academy. There he was trained in dance, singing, acting, theater, etc. During this time, Derek and his best friend, Mark Ballas, began a band together that lasted for over 10 years. Derek is an accomplished musician, as well, playing the drums, guitar, and piano. After graduating from Italia Conti Academy, Derek left competitive dancing and pursued a stage career. His most notable role was of ‘Ren McCormack’, the male lead of ‘Footloose: The Musical’, which was a London’s West End production (equivalent to Broadway). Derek received positive reviews and critical acclaim for his portrayal of ‘Ren’ and was nominated for the Stuart Phillips London Newcomer of the Year award in December of 2006.

After ten years in London, Derek moved back to the U.S. in Fall 2007 when he accepted the offer to work on ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Since then, he has grown more and more in popularity and is one of the most loved cast members of the show. Derek is known for his innovative and electrifying choreography and has been nominated 5 times by the Creative Arts Emmys for Best Choreography. Derek won an Emmy in 2013 for his choreography. His funny and easy-going personality makes him a hit with the audience and his partners. Derek has often said that teaching his celebrities and watching them grow into dancers is the most rewarding part of his job.

In 2008, Hollywood Records signed Derek and Mark’s band, “Ballas Hough Band” (formerly Almost Amy), and they recorded and released an album. They also went on a few promotional and concert tours. “Ballas Hough Band” disbanded in 2010, but Derek continues to pursue his musical aspirations, writing the ballad Let Me In’ for ‘Make Your Move’.

It was announced in early 2013 that Derek and his sister Julianne will develop and executive produce “Blackpool” which is a scripted drama set in the danceport world revolving around the prestigious annual competition. Derek is also producing a non-scripted television show based on rival dance studios in Salt Lake City, Utah (where he first learned to dance). In addition, Derek is set to choreograph a routine for World Championship ice dancing couple, Meryl Davis and Charlie White. He will create a routine that the couple will use in the 2013 Winter Olympics set in Sochi, Russia. There are also plans for Derek and Julianne to develop a live show in Las Vegas that will showcase their dancing, musical talents, and showmanship.

‘Make Your Move’ is Derek’s second film in his career. He has an uncredited role in ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’. Derek has also done a guest appearance on the ABC comedy ‘Better With You’.

Derek plays ‘Donny’ in the film and described the character as gritty and edgy. Donny is from New Orleans and moves to New York City to help his foster brother Nick (played by Wesley Jonathan) run one of the hottest underground dance clubs in the city. Donny is a street tap dancer/hoofer in the film and Derek had to undergo three intensive months of tap dance training prior to shooting. The movie revolves around the love story of Donny and Aya (played by BoA Kwon) and their brothers’ bitter rivalry with one another.


Twitter: @derekhough


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