Derek Hough Opens up About Feeling ‘Nervous’ on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Derek Hough DWTS

ABC Derek Hough

Professional dancer Derek Hough has won the Mirrorball trophy on ABC’sDancing With the Stars” six times, but he has not always been the most confident about his time in the ballroom.

During a September 2021 appearance on the “Whine Down With Jana Kramer” podcast, Hough opened up about how he felt when he was first cast on “Dancing With the Stars” and allowed fans a deeper look into his first few seasons on the show.

Read on to learn more about what Hough said in regards to his early seasons on “Dancing With the Stars.”

Hough Says He Was ‘Faking It’ in Early Seasons

“I definitely look back at my approach to the show,” Hough shared at the time.  “Like in my earlier seasons, I was nervous, you know, and I was uncertain. I was kind of faking it, to be honest with you.”

He added, “I wasn’t really like a teacher or a choreographer. People used to say, ‘Oh, you’re a good choreographer,’ but I never really looked at myself in that way. That made me fearful and afraid. I definitely would get more frustrated easier in my earlier seasons.”

He also opened up about wishing he knew more in his early seasons.

“I think, ‘Man, I wish I knew then what I know now,’ and how I shifted my approach to teaching and coaching,” he shared. “I probably could have gotten more out of them with a better teaching approach, which I eventually learned and created. It’s not so much on them, more of myself. I wish I was better early on and I could have given them a better chance and experience.”

Now that Hough’s a judge on the show, however, he has appreciation for that side of things as well.

“It’s definitely a lot easier, that’s for sure,” he shared. “It always cracks me up when people say, ‘What’s harder, judging or dancing?’ Like, what? I was like, ‘Dancing, of course.'”

Hough Called Out a Pro’s Dance Moves

During the same podcast, Hough called out one professional dancer in particular about their choreography. Because Kramer was partnered with Gleb Savchenko when she was on “Dancing With the Stars,” Hough talked a little bit about Savchenko’s choreography when Kramer said she would love another chance at the Mirrorball trophy.

Kramer and Savchenko danced an Argentine tango in the rain during their time on the show, and Kramer says she cannot believe that the show allowed that dance to go forward on the show.

“That was a very sexy dance. There was just a few things in that dance I’m like I can’t believe they aired that. When it says ‘give me a taste’ and he literally lifts me up and his face is in my vagina?! You guys come up with some raunchy choreography, Derek,” Kramer told Hough.

He replied, “I’m not gonna lie, that’s more of a Gleb [Savchenko] thing. … I wasn’t too raunchy. Even when I did rumbas, stuff like that, the dance of love, my approach was more of a sweet love, not a ’50 Shades of Grey’ love.”

“Dancing With the Stars” has not yet been renewed for season 31. If it does get renewed, the show will return sometime in mid-September of 2022.

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