Why Derek Hough Is Taking A Break From Dancing With The Stars

Derek Hough competed in Dancing with the Stars for a long time. So long, in fact, that he has won the Mirrorball Trophy six times with different dancing partners on the series. Unfortunately, Derek Hough opted to take a breaking during Season 22. If you’ve wondered why he stepped down from the position that made him a household name, you don’t need to wonder any longer. In a recent interview, Hough revealed why he isn’t around this season. Here’s what he had to say:

I think I just always had the feeling of being inspired – I want to give all to whatever I'm doing. I think I just needed a little bit of time to grow.

Sometimes people need a change of pace, to recharge or get re-inspired or get over an injury or whatever. Obviously, Hough isn’t the only professional dancer to ever leave Dancing with the Stars. A lot of big competitors have taken a break from the hit series, including Derek Hough himself, who sat out during Season 12. Other competitors who have taken breaks (some before ultimately quitting) including Dmitry Chaplin, Lacey Schwimmer, Luis Van Amstel, Maks Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff. 

Unfortunately, many professional dancers have ended up not returning to the series, including Cheryl Burke, who was with the show forever but left after Season 19. Derek Hough also told People that he has plenty of other projects in the pipeline. If some of those opportunities take off, they may keep the professional dancer from returning to the long-running TV series. 

Which means, ultimately, that Derek Hough’s future on Dancing with the Stars is really up in the air. But don’t take it from me. Here’s exactly how he describes it:

I don't know. We'll see how it goes. We'll see what happens.

That’s the nice thing about the Dancing with the Stars gig, I guess. Because there are plenty of people willing to take on the professional dancer or evening judging roles, it’s easy for the show to allow its cast to take some time off for a season or two if they want a breather or want to do something else for a little while. That’s certainly a perk of the job, but it doesn’t make it any easier when fan favorite judges or cast members are not present during a season. 

Last season, I missed judge Len Goodman’s criticisms so much that I wasn't even mad when Julianne Hough said she would be taking a break from the series. After all, it left plenty of room for Len to return to the show. Derek Hough might follow the same trajectory. He might come back, he might not, heck, he could even come back as a judge like his sister did. We'll let you know how his career shapes out. In the meantime, new episodes of Dancing with the Stars air at 8 a.m. on Monday nights, only on ABC. In addition, here's what the networks have coming up this summer.

Photo courtesy of ABC.  

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.