Prepared by @donamadrina.
Derek Hough is a contemporary, quintuple threat: a dancer, a choreographer, a singer, an actor, and a director. By his fans, and by his peers, he has often been referred to as the modern day Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly, both of whom shared the same quintuple talents.
Below is just a sampling of the esteem, respect and admiration that Derek’s peers, friends, reviewers and others have for him.
- Kenny Ortega – (The Choreographers – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, November 1, 2012) –
“For years, I’ve had people walk up to me and ask me this question, ‘Are we not seeing the kinds of musicals that we remember from the days of Gene and Fred because the talent doesn’t exist anymore?’ And all I have to say is, ‘No, it’s the imagination in an industry that doesn’t figure out that it is standing right in front of you. (pointing to Derek)”
- People Magazine – (Commenting on Derek’s portrayal of Corny Collins in Hairspray Live, December 7, 2016)
“The performance… featured an A-List cast….Hough stepped into the shoes of TV host Corny Collins…for the live production, and showed off his triple-threat dancing, singing and acting skills for fans — and did it all in style!”
- BigMan Productions – (Commenting on working with Derek on his concept/passion videos, 2016)
“Really hard working!….Derek is amazing to work with, talented beyond, full of energy, constantly creating, and best of all very collaborative!”
- Stack.com – (November 2, 2016) –
“Aspiring entertainers love to get career advice from successful actors, musicians and comics. Celebrities who are serious about their craft, like…Derek Hough…, often share pointers about breaking into the entertainment industry or just maintaining quality work. Find out what [this] A-list [star has] to say about making it in show business.” Click here for the entry about Derek.
- Rita Moreno – (Industry Dance Awards, August 19, 2015) –
“I have a feeling that Derek left, but I got to tell you. He makes me think of Gene (Kelly). He really makes me think of Gene.”
- Bruce Reisman (Writer/Producer/Director/Actor ) – (Twitter, August 2015) –
This guy’s star power hasn’t even been seen yet. Superb actor, singer, dancer – he COULD be the last chance Hollywood/NY has…(Directed to Derek) Lemme tell ya, dude… Gene Kelly directed me as a 17 year old in HELLO DOLLY — u r HE either reborn, re-channeled, who cares?”
- Kristyn Burtt – (Red Carpet Closet, September 19, 2013)
“I have always maintained that I believe that Derek Hough is going to be one of the defining choreographers of his generation. I don’t take that statement lightly. As someone who has been a student of dance history, think of the names you would put in that category: George Balanchine, Agnes DeMille, Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, Michael Bennett, Martha Graham. There are more, but it’s not a list of thousands or even hundreds. I don’t say that about any other pro on the show.”
- William Shatner (Jimmy Kimmel Show, October 27, 2010)–
“Derek Hough! He is America’s greatest dancer. Oh my God. He is Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly wrapped up…and his choreography is so imaginative. He’s one of America’s treasures….”
- Patricia Kelly to Derek– (October 2014)
“Thanks for continuing Gene’s legacy….I see a little bit of Gene out there.” See Statistics and Trivia, Week 4
- Tom Bergeron (Archive of American Television – April 14, 2013 –
“I don’t think you can throw any concept to say Derek Hough, that he couldn’t come up with a dance for.”
- Misty Copeland (Ameska “Behind the Scenes”, June 2014)
“Just having the opportunity to meet someone at Derek’s level, with all the accolades and his accomplishments, to see how grounded he is, and how real he is, and of course, how beautiful he is, and his amazing hair that’s always perfect…Besides being hot, he’s just an incredible guy.”
- Shawn Johnson (Season 15, Week 4)
“I’m biased, of course, but Derek is phenomenal. He has a vision. He works with the band. He’ll change the music. He designs props, and has input into the sets and lighting. Also, he works with me on my confidence.”
- Len Goodman (Season 14, Week 8)
“I don’t say this word often, but Derek as a choreographer is a genius. He’s a genius.”
- Napolean D’umo of Nappytabs – (The Choreographers – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, November 1, 2012)
“…He is ridiculously talented.”
- Regis Philbin (Live With Regis and Kelly, November 30, 2010)
“I think you dance with the flair of Fred Astaire and the gusto of Gene Kelly. You’ve got to do something with that someday.”
- Nick Gonzalez, tap choreographer for “Make Your Move” (Twitter, April 6, 2011)
“My man has skills you can only dream of. So much respect to him for his hard work.”
- E. Mitchell, Reviewer, (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 8, 2013)
“Derek Hough is the modern day heir apparent to the flawless Fred Astaire; time for Hollywood to feature him in a film!”
- Diane Pucin – Reviewer (Los Angeles Times, October 20, 2008)
“This may sound like sacrilege to some more veteran movie star fans, but Hough dances almost as beautifully as Fred Astaire, almost as athletically as Gene Kelly.”
- Duane Adler Interview – (Dance Spirit Magazine, March 14, 2014)
“Derek’s energy on set is contagious. Sure, his career is in its early stages. But if there’s a dancer today with Fred or Gene’s potential, I think it’s him.”
- Ann Blackburn – Reviewer (BBC Nottingham News, May 15, 2007)
“…Derek Hough…prove[s] that white men can dance.”
- Prince Charles (“Cheryl: My Story”, Harper, October 2012)
“We all love watching Dancing With The Stars….Derek is our favorite dancer, actually….”
- Michael Jackson Who’d have ever thunk that the iconic King of Pop watched Dancing With the Stars? Well, he did. And guess what? According to his siblings Jermaine and La Toya, Derek was MJ’s favorite dancer. Click here.
Here is a video from the GLSEN awards, October 2014. Kenny Ortega introduces Derek, at 1:19.
Accomplishments are prepared by @donamadrina.