Dancer Hough Honored for Taking Steps to End Bullying

By Weinstein, Shelli | Variety, October 14, 2014 | Go to article overview

Dancer Hough Honored for Taking Steps to End Bullying


Weinstein, Shelli, Variety


He may be known for burning up the floor and coaching celebs on "Dancing With the Stars," but Derek Hough's work extends far beyond the dance studio.

Hough will be honored by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network at the org's Respect Awards on Oct. 17 for his work to prevent bullying.

As a kid, Hough found himself on the receiving end of such abuse, but instead of fighting back, he considered his tormenter's perspective, and learned that bullying isn't as simple as it seems.

"We associate bullying with a kid in a playground being picked on, but it's so much broader than that," he explains, stressing that those exhibiting the behavior are often victims themselves, and that the act can take many more forms than just physical violence.

"We're all guilty of being a bully at some point," he notes. Hough adds that he's even caught himself acting out of line on occasion. "Growing up in the dance world and having to be a perfectionist, it suddenly becomes acceptable to behave a certain way, because it's 'for the art,'" he says, "and the truth is, it's not."

Teaching is one of the tools Hough advocates for prevention. …

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