Magazine article Dance Spirit

Derek HOUGH

Magazine article Dance Spirit

Derek HOUGH

Article excerpt

"DANCING WITH THE STARS" PRO DEREK HOUGH gets around. This year alone, in addition to the work he did on Seasons 18 and 19 of "DWTS," he starred in both a national tour (MOVE Live on Tour with his sister, Julianne Hough) and in the hip-hop dance film Make Your Move. He even choreographed a gold-medal-winning ice-dancing waltz for Meryl Davis and Charlie White for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and a sultry tango for American Ballet Theatre's Misty Copeland. Dance Spirit caught up with Hough, who recently earned his sixth Emmy nomination for his choreography on Season 18 of "DWTS," to find out what inspires his work.

"I've realized that when I hear a song I like, I see colors and shades, like blue, red or an amber glow. That color paints the mood for the rest of the piece. For the jazz duet Too Dorn Hot I created for Amy Purdy and myself, I envisioned a smoky haze-and imagined we were in an old-timey detective's office. I stuck with that first instinct. ON 'DWTS,' the costumes are designed before a routine's choreography is finished. So you really need a strong vision before you begin."

"I'm totally inspired by Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo's energy and work ethic. Their pieces are so fun and creative. And I love watching Travis Wall. He has such a beautiful sense of flow, and he's evolved so much as a dancer. I'm blessed to have become friends with such phenomenal talents."

"Reading Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now, and books by Deepak Chopra, has taught me to be in the moment. …

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