Derek Hough took up dancing after encouragement from his family: all his grandparents were dancers, and her parents met while on a ballroom team. He, along with his sister Julianne, were sent to London as their parents faced a divorce, to study under their coaches Corky and Shirley Ballas. There the two - along with Mark Ballas - were trained in dance, as well as other performing arts such as music and acting.
Hough's first professional outing was in a British production of the musical Footloose, in 2006. He also appeared in productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Before that, though, he has danced competitively, taking the ISDF World Youth Latin Championship in 2002 with partner Aneta Piotrowska.
Hough first joined ABC's Dancing with the Stars in 2007, as a guest instructor. He became a pro dancer in the fifth season, and went on to win the Mirrorball trophy twice: first in season 7 with Brooke Burke, and again in season 10 with Nicole Scherzinger. He also appeared in the BBC series DanceX, where he worked alongside DWTS judge Bruno Tonioli.
Hough is also a successful musician. His band with Mark Ballas, Almost Amy, evolved into the Ballas Hough Band, which released an album in 2009.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (uncredited, 2001)
- Dancing with the Stars (pro dancer, 2007-present)