Main Content


Derek Hough

Judge Bio

Derek Hough serves as a judge on NBC's dance competition series "World of Dance," alongside judges Jennifer Lopez and NE-YO and host/mentor Jenna Dewan.  

An Emmy Award winner and New York Times best-selling author, as well as the only six-time champion in franchise history of the hit ABC show "Dancing with the Stars," Hough started dancing in his hometown of Salt Lake City at age 11. Just one year later he moved to London to live and train with the top dance coaches in the world. He attended the prestigious Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, where he studied theater, music and dance.

A multitalented entertainer, two-time Emmy Award winner and eight-time nominee for best choreography, Hough has also appeared in film, television and stage projects as an actor. He made his feature-film debut for director Duane Adler and producer Robert Cort in "Make Your Move," and has a recurring role on the ABC series "Nashville." His stage performances include Radio City Music Hall's "Spring Spectacular," co-starring Tony Award-winning Laura Benanti, and the critically acclaimed production of "Footloose," in which he starred on London's West End. Hough takes the stage again in 2017 when he stars in the role Gene Kelly made famous in the Weinstein Company's production of "Singin' in the Rain" on Broadway. Last December Hough starred with Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, Martin Short and Harvey Fierstein in NBC's "Hairspray Live!"

Hough can also add author to his growing list of credits. His memoir, "Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion," hit stands in 2014 and made the prestigious New York Times best-seller list during two non-consecutive time periods. That same year, Hough and his sister, Julianne, teamed for a live stage dance concert, "MOVE Live on Tour," performing in 50 cities around the country. In 2015, they toured again and sold out many venues on their 47-city outing.

With celebrity partners on "Dancing with the Stars" that have included Brooke Burke, Jennie Garth, Ricki Lake, Maria Menounos, Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Grey, Kellie Pickler, Amber Riley, Amy Purdy and Bindi Irwin, Hough is best known for his innovation and daring choreography on the show. Hough is the winningest professional dancer with six Mirror Ball trophies.

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our cookie policy.