Former Dancing With the Stars pro dancer and judge Derek Hough shared footage of an on-stage performance early in his career. In the clip, Hough portrays Ren McCormack in the 2006 production of Footloose: The Musical.
The production took place at the Novelo Theatre in London’s West End, and it also went on to be toured around the UK. Hough earned a nomination as The Stuart Phillips London Newcomer of the Year in the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, according to purederekhough.com. It was Hough’s first award nomination.
Hough has since been nominated for and won awards for his performances as well as his choreography, so the clip was a true throwback to Hough before he became the celebrated dancer that he is today.
Hough Played Ren in ‘Footloose: The Musical’
Hough shared the clip from the musical on his Instagram page.
He wrote, “RARE FOOTAGE” and “Old footage of me playing Ren McCormack on the West End in London. My first big role, skinny little inexperienced kid giving his all 8 times a week.”
He added, “My jeans were soaking wet after every show. I would ring them out and put the damp jeans back on for the second show on Fridays and Saturdays. I would lose my voice all the time cause I didn’t know how to use it properly. Took me a few months to understand breath control and proper support. The experience taught me so much including a work ethic that I carry with me into everything I do today. Also, shout out to my boy @giovannispanoofficial #worldtheatreday.”
Hough Will be Joining the Cast of ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’
Derek Hough recently joined the cast of Disney’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series in season 2 of the show as a guest star.
The new season premieres on May 14, with Hough playing the character Zack, a Broadway star coming home to direct a theater program at East High’s rival school, North High. He also happens to be the ex-boyfriend of East High drama teacher Miss Jenn.
When talking to People about the role, Hough said his character is completely different from who he actually is in his life.
“He’s a little bit of a baddie – or the opposition,” Hough told the outlet. “It was fun to lean into just being a little smug. In life, I’m very self-deprecating and a goofball really, so it was fun to play that character. And to sing a little bit and to dance.”
That sounds like the character Hough played decades ago in Footloose.
Hough said that things get a little bit steamy between his character and Miss Jenn.
“There’s definitely some flirtation happening there,” he told People. “It’s sort of playful but also quite seriously competitive. It’s a weird combination of, ‘Remember that time?’ and also, ‘You look really good,’ and also, ‘I’m gonna kick your butt.'”
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 2 premieres on Disney+ on May 14. Dancing With the Stars will return for season 30 in 2021.