Derek Hough came from a dusty town in Utah – Far from the glitz and the confetti that is the “Dancing With the Stars” Ballroom we all know. His passion for dance took him and sister Julianne to the most prestigious dance academies in London, a world away from Salt Lake City. They left their family to discover the magic of dance abroad. After years of world championships and the agony that entails, Derek and Julianne helped invent the ballroom revolution. Hello “Dancing With The Stars…”
Now, five mirror ball trophies and one choreography Emmy later, Derek still wonders what is missing. He shared his Epiphany with us…
Even Derek Hough referred to his own book “Taking the Lead: Lessons From a Life in Motion” for some much needed inspiration during a recent down time.
“It reminded me that lessons are meant to be learned but that they’re also meant to be re-learned,” Hough says. “It was helpful to me.”
That’s what the 5-time “Dancing With the Stars” champ hopes readers will get from his musings,which he admits actually revitalized him once he accepted the challenge.
He initially said no to the book agent who approached him with the thought of writing a book. Once he thought about it and sat down and let the ideas flow, he says it only took about four months and he found it extremely therapeutic.
“It wasn’t so much that it reminded me where I came from, but it reminded me how far I’ve come.”
In the book, Hough shares some of the struggles of his youth growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mostly, he says, the tough times came from trying to figure out where he fit in.
“That’s like so many young kids,” he says. “My niece is going through that right now. She feels separated from people, from family, from friends and she feels a little on her own. I see so much of myself in her. I was always such a thinker and always in my head and separated myself.”
He reveals in the book about his personal experiencesbeing bullied.
“I look at people who are bullied or put down. I’ve even caught myself at times and wondered why I’ve said something. When you’re full of love and you love who you are, you’re only going to give love and encouragement, so looking back when I was bullied, I wonder what was going on with them and it’s helped me,” he says.
He strived to make the book an easy read and give readers something of meaning they could take with them.
“I might be somewhere in my life — a predicament or dilemma — and all it will take for me is hearing one saying, one quote or one story that will completely change my day or my week or my life.”
In the book Hough also shares his experiences from the show, some of the ups and downs — and number one on his list of ups is “trying something you’re not 100% certain about, but when you take that chance and it pays off, it’s fantastic,” he says. “And that feeling of trusting yourself and taking that risk, taking that leap and having it pay off, is a massive, incredible feeling.”
The big No. 1 down, he says, is when he is uninspired.
“It could be the music or just the way I’m feeling that day,” he says. “There were times when I was about to do the show when I started to lose that inspiration and drive and I recognized it in myself.”
And yet, Hough found an “up” to that, too.
“I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment where I realized it was all me, my perspective and my choice to not wait for inspiration, but to create inspiration. We always have a choice how we’re going to filter things and experience things. I realized I was waiting for inspiration to hit me, instead of creating it myself. That was right before the season with Kellie Pickler and I wasn’t sure about coming back, but when I realized that, I came back and it’s been wonderful ever since.”
Derek is teamed up with YouTube beauty guru Bethany Mota for Season 19 of DWTS.
Photo credit: Ida Mae Astute.
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