Derek Hough’s Latest Project Earns Him High Praise

Derek Hough

Heavy/Getty DWTS judge Derek Hough is part of a long-awaited "Twilight" project.

“Dancing with the Stars” judge Derek Hough and his fiancee Hayley Erbert, a former DWTS troupe member, star in a long-awaited video connected to the “Twilight” movie franchise. The pair had been teasing fans about the upcoming release of the project, and it is finally available to watch in full.

Here’s what you need to know:

Derek Hough Was Tapped to Direct the ‘Turning Page’ Video

On July 25, Entertainment Weekly shared the first full look at the music video for the Sleeping At Last song “Turning Page,” featuring Hough and Erbert. “Twilight” fans know the song from the 2011 release of “Breaking Dawn – Part 1,” the fourth of five movies based on the Stephenie Meyer book series, where it was used in two different scenes. It played as Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) walked down the aisle to marry Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), and it could be heard again during a scene from the pair’s honeymoon.

Until now, a music video had never been created for the song itself. Songwriter Ryan O’Neal opened up to EW about finally changing that, admitting it only became a topic of conversation in early 2023. As soon as it was decided to move ahead on creating the video, O’Neal reached out to the “Dancing with the Stars” judge to see if he wanted to direct the video, and star in it. Hough ran with it, and O’Neal was thrilled with the results.

“I gave him total creative freedom — he had expressed earlier that he and his soon-to-be wife Hayley had enjoyed the song and it had been a part of their relationship, and so I thought this was such a perfect fit and that he will know exactly what to do, visually, for this.”

O’Neal believed in Hough’s ability to create something beautiful for the song, but he admitted after seeing it, “It’s exactly what I’d hope for and a million times more.”

Hough’s Vision for the Project Wowed Fans

Both Hough and Erbert had shared sneak peeks ahead of the video release, and “Dancing with the Stars” fans noted their excitement for its debut. Once the “Turning Page” video was revealed, Hough shared a short clip of it on his Instagram page. He noted he was “incredibly humbled” to be asked by O’Neil to create the piece, adding, “Like so many, I have loved this song since the gentle strings and sentimental lyrics pierced my heart.”

Hough tapped season 5 “So You Think You Can Dance” contestant Phillip Chbeeb, and Chbeeb’s wife, season 10 SYTYCD alum Makenzie Dustman, to work with him in bringing his vision to the screen. The “Dancing with the Stars” judge explained, “We wanted to create a piece about life, a fleeting journey, an impermanent dance between birth and death.”

Not only does Erbert dance in the video, but “Dancing with the Stars” fans will also see pro Koko Iwasaki appear in it as well. “Twilight” and “Dancing with the Stars” fans gushed over the video online as soon as it became available.

“That was absolutely beautiful. Great job to everyone involved, the choreography, the chemistry, the cinematography. Obviously the song. Just wow. Amazing,” a fan noted on the band’s Instagram post about the release.

“That was some absolutely breathtaking art, thank you,” added another.

“Chills. Chills. Chills. Thank you for this. Brought tears to my eyes. So beautiful,” read a comment on Hough’s Instagram post about the debut.

Someone else added, “This dance brought tears to my eyes! One of [the] most beautiful dances you have ever choreographed!”

Several “Dancing with the Stars” alums praised Hough and the video on his Instagram page too. Val Chmerkovskiy commented, “Beautiful job as always brother! ❤️” Jenna Johnson and Sasha Farber shared similar sentiments, while DWTS stars Emma Slater, Maks Chmerkovskiy, and Allison Holker, gave the post a like shortly after it went live.