Derek Hough’s twist on a recent Season 20 Dancing With the Stars episode was the “Ouch!” heard ’round the country.
On April 20, while rehearsing for the 10th anniversary special edition of the ballroom dance competition show — Hough is its most winning pro — the 30-year-old Utah native broke a toe on his right foot after an errant kick. He then sprained the inside and the outside of his left ankle, and ended up with a bone bruise (the latter after tumbling down stairs while attending to his toe).
Bad break and bad timing. You could practically hear the accountants gasp.
Hough was in his customary race toward the finals with gymnast “star” partner Nastia Liukin (the couple finished in fourth place) and simultaneously starring in a New York Spring Spectacular dance show at Radio City Music Hall. He was also readying rehearsals for the second annual MOVE Live Tour with sister Julianne Hough (a judge on DWTS and actress).
MOVE — with both stars intact, he swears — cha-chas onto the Hard Rock Live stage Friday. “I learned the show in three days this year,” he says.
Hough is involved in every aspect of MOVE — choreographing the routines, dancing, singing and engaging in banter with his younger sis.
“I’m feeling much better, I’m getting strong,” Hough says on the phone during a break in rehearsals in Los Angeles as carpenters slam together painted sets, costumers run around and giant fans blow air around the Houghs.
For Hough, work is always a race against the clock. He wasn’t even supposed to be on the DWTS anniversary season due to the Radio City gig, but “I get passionate about challenges,” he says.
“It was outrageous traveling back and forth, rehearsing and doing two to three shows a day. Instead of scaring me it got me excited — let’s see if I can do this. But I’m a team player and very loyal person, and if I could make it work and be a part of that 10th anniversary, which was a milestone, I thought it important to be part of that.”
As for MOVE, you’ll have to forgive the excited dancer if he sounds like a broken Andrea True Connection disco record from the ’70s. More, More, More could be the show’s subtitle.
“This is going to be dramatically different,” he says, comparing last year’s somewhat threadbare production at Hard Rock Live to this summer’s promised extravaganza.
“This set alone is much more advanced and much bigger. We have more dynamics and the costumes, oh my gosh, this year the costumes are a thousand times better. Every number has a beautiful, amazing costume. Every song is sensational and powerful. We have more variety. We have more concept. More visuals that are more interesting. Honestly, from what we are looking at in rehearsals, this show is just a huge upgrade,” Hough says.
Working alongside his sister Julianne also fits the More, More, More mindset. “We are pretty in sync. We’ve gotten a lot more playful and a lot more teasing — in a healthy way.”
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If you go
What: MOVE Live on Tour 2015 with Derek and Julianne Hough
When: 8 p.m. Friday, June 26
Where: Hard Rock Live, 5747 Seminole Way, Hollywood