As a dancer, choreographer, singer, showman, and television personality, it’s hard to label Derek Hough as just one thing and have it truly do him justice. Your safest bet would probably be “performer.” He and his sister Julianne Hough first came into the spotlight as performers and coaches on “Dancing with the Stars” and since then, he has performed in front of audiences all over the world. This spring, Hough will be bringing his brand-new variety show “Derek Hough: Live! The Tour” to theaters all over the country. We spoke with Hough about blending live music with dance and which of his “DWTS” partners could actually hack it in the world of professional dance.
What can you tell us about your upcoming tour?
I’m very excited! It’s my first solo tour, and it’s also the first time I’m taking a live band with me on the road, so I’ll have live musicians on stage performing that will be infused with the dancing. I think that was really important to me because when I go to concerts, you can’t quite replicate that sound, live drums or a loud saxophone player or live guitar. It just gives it that live-concert feel, and also to the cast of live dancers that I’ve chosen for the tour are truly world class. They truly are. I was sitting in rehearsal the other day watching them dance, and I was sitting there and I was like, “wow.” These are really the strongest dancers I’ve had go on the road with me, so athletic, so talented, and some people you’ll be able to recognize from previous seasons of “World of Dance.” I pretty much just picked them straight off the show. So it’s going to be great. What I love about this show is that there’s so many genres of music and dance from big band to musical theater to Latin dancing, ballroom dancing, contemporary, tap dancing, flamenco. It’s going to have every genre of music and dance you can think of, so there’ll be something for everyone.
- PHOTOS: Celebrities attend 'Avengers: Endgame' premiere in Los Angeles22 Pictures
- PHOTOS: Memorial spotlights the man behind Nipsey Hussle rap persona14 Pictures
Is staying in shape and taking care of your body something you need to pay attention to on tour?
Yeah, and also continuing from ice baths every night to eating the right foods to the right vitamins and supplements for recovery. It’s really like running a marathon each night and I’m hitting 59 cities, so it’s a grueling but very fulfilling project. Another thing that I also need to be taking care of is my voice because I’m going to be singing a lot in this show as well, which is something I’m excited to do. I want to do some of [the songs from] my musical theater days with “Singing in the Rain.” I even did a big band song with Michael Buble, and I reached out to him personally and asked him if I could use the original recording, the original brass section he did, to infuse that in, they could play along and they so they could sound big, and he sent them right over. He’s such an amazing guy. … It’s a really collaborative and exciting show.
When you were on “Dancing with the Stars,” do you think performing to the camera has made you a better performer?
Yeah, I think what really helped me on “Dancing with the Stars” was choreographing so many routines. You know, this is true for non-dancers too, is that when you become a teacher, when you become a coach, you learn a lot yourself and how to craft a routine or craft choreography and you know, the time crunch of it all, getting something done in such a short amount of time. But I will say that for me performing live is my favorite thing. It’s why I go on tour, there’s nothing like that relationship between you and the audience on stage, that energy that goes back and forth, it’s a beautiful thing.
Who is the celebrity who you think could have been a full-time dancer?
I think Luca [Baricchi] was great. Nicole Zinger was great. Even Kelly Pickler, she really surprised me. She has an amazing facility and a capacity for dance with her flexibility. But yeah, they were pretty sensational.
Make sure to grab tickets to see “Derek Hough: Live! The Tour” at the Bosch Center on April 23.