Derek Hough (pronounced /ˈhʌf/; born May 17, 1985) is an American dancer, choreographer, musician and actor. A world champion in Latin American Dance, Hough has appeared since September 2007 (Seasons 5 though 11) on the hit U.S. television series Dancing with the Stars, where he is a three-time champion (with Nicole Scherzinger, Brooke Burke, and Jennifer Grey), two-time semi-finalist (with Jennie Garth and Joanna Krupa) and a Quarter-Finalist with Lil' Kim. Hough has earned three Creative Arts Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Choreography (2009 and 2010 ) for his work on the show. Prior to joining Dancing with the Stars, 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 U.K. 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. A founding member of the Ballas Hough Band (formerly Almost Amy), Hough shares lead vocals, plays guitar and has several songwriting credits on the band's self-titled debut CD, released by Hollywood Records in March 2009.
Hough grew up one of five children in Sandy, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City. He has four sisters, Sharee, Marabeth, Katherine and Julianne. His sister Julianne Hough is also a professional dancer. 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 twelve, 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. 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.