Dancer Derek Hough was always a fan-favorite professional partner on Dancing With the Stars and now he has graduated to being a judge in Len Goodman’s absence. Plus, as per usual, the high-flying dancer has been all over the different networks’ holiday specials.
But that doesn’t mean quarantine isn’t hard on him too. Being shut in during the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll. In a recent interview with MTV for its 2020 Movie and TV Awards, Hough revealed how he has changed during the quarantine and what it’s been like being holed up with girlfriend Hayley Erbert.
Hough Thinks The Quarantine Brought Them Closer Than Ever
In the interview, Hough said that growing closer with Erbert is one of the best things to come out of the quarantine this year.
“One of the best things that has come out of this year for me personally from being in quarantine was I’ve become closer with my girlfriend,” said Hough. Awww!
He added that the quarantine also caused him to slow down and literally smell the roses — he’s taken up gardening and he thinks that that has helped his highly-driven personality immensely.
“I’ve gotten into gardening! It’s also taught me how to chill because I’m all about like, ‘Let’s Go! More! What’s next?!’ and now I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m gonna go water my plants and I’m gonna be really OK with that,'” said Hough with a laugh.
But he and Erbert are still challenged all the time with how best to keep busy and keep working through the quarantine. It has caused them to really stretch their creative muscles.
“It’s a challenge. You have to try to be innovative. For me, my girlfriend and I, we were dancing around our kitchen and filming videos. Just finding ways to entertain and bring a little bit of joy to people during this time. So I’ve always found when there’s challenges you rise to them and you become innovative and you find ways,” said Hough.
He also revealed that he and Erbert have been watching a lot of TV during quarantine, including Scandal, Game of Thrones, and The Undoing. They most recently performed a dazzling routine for ABC’s Disney Holiday Singalong special.
The two of them have been together for over four years. Hough’s mom Marriann told KTLA in 2017 that she just loves her son’s partner.
“She’s so down-to-earth and she has the best smile, it just makes you feel comfortable and happy … I think they match up very well,” said Mama Hough.
Hough Also Revealed His Favorite Dance Routines From the Movies
Because the interview was for MTV’s movie awards and Hough was presenting Kevin Bacon with the Greatest of All Time Movie Dance Routine award, he was asked about his favorite dance scenes from the movies.
“One of my favorite dance scenes in a movie, obviously — Singin’ in the Rain, can’t go wrong. But also Summer Stock, Gene Kelly in the warehouse. For me, that was such a cool, just innovative, creative way to use the space and yeah, I love that scene,” said Hough, though he added that Bacon’s infamous dance in Footloose was also hugely influential on him growing up because they filmed just down the street from his house.
“Footloose has been really close to me in many ways and has inspired me for many years.”
Dancing With the Stars will return for its 30th season in spring 2021. There is no word yet on if Hough will continue to judge the long-running dance competition series or if Goodman will be able to fly over to the U.S. to participate.