Derek has choreographed for a variety of artists outside of his stint on DWTS, including:


Derek and His EmmyEMMY AWARD WINNER 2015
On September 10, 2015, Derek won his second Emmy for Outstanding Choreography. The nominated dance was to Sia’s Elastic Heart which was performed on Dancing With the Stars. The dance was performed by Derek and his sister Julianne, along with two mini-versions of themselves, Emma York and Joey Germa. Derek explained the significance of the choreography on his instagram, saying: “Sometimes we can abuse the love of our family and end up hurting the ones we love the most. Re connect to the playful inner child where the love is pure and honest. Family, even through the hardest of times is everything.” The dance was co-choreographed by Julianne and Tessandra Chavez.


Derek received his sixth Emmy Nomination for outstanding choreography in July of 2014. He was nominated for two extrordinary dances performed with Amy Purdy, a double amputee who is a medal winning 2014 Paralympian. One was a contemporary dance to Human by Christina Perri and the other was a Jazz dance to Too Darn Hot. Rounding out Derek’s “Body of Work” nomination, was the amazing “Ameksa”, originally choreographed for the stage and Misty Copeland and adapted for DWTS using Derek, Kathryn McCormack and several of the DWTS professional dancers.

Misty is the Prima Ballerina for the American Ballet Theater who in early 2014 enlisted Derek’s choreography ability to prepare a dance for the Youth American Grand Prix Gala in New York City. The world premiere of the piece, “Ameska” was performed at the Lincoln Center in April of 2014. Derek did not dance in the piece, presumably because he was involved in Dancing with the Stars, partnering Amy Purdy. Click to read more about Ameska and the Youth American Grand Prix Gala.

In the run up to the 2014 Winter Olympics, Meryl Davis and Charlie White asked Derek if he would assist in the choreography for their short program, and ice dance which had several ballroom requirements.  Derek took on this new challenge and, as everyone knows, Davis and White won the gold medal. Click if you want to read more about Derek’s work with Davis and White.

After a very successful season on DWTS which saw Derek and Kellie take home the Mirror Ball Trophy, Kellie asked Derek if he would choreograph her music video for “Someone Somewhere Tonight”. Of course, Derek obliged and a beautiful video which was nominated for, and eventually won, a “Golden Boot” award. “Someone Somewhere Tonight” was also nominated for a American Country Award in the Female Music Video of the Year Award.

Emmy Awards 2013 Press RoomOn September 22, 2013, Derek won an Emmy for Outstanding Choreography. The nominated dances were his Quickstep and his Mambo with partner Shawn Johnson from season 15, as well as his gravity-defying dance, “Walking On Air”, danced with Jaimie Goodwin for Macy’s Stars of Dance.

In a first, along with his fellow nominees for choreography, Dererk choreographed a routine for the Primetime Emmys’ show. Host Neil Patrick Harris sang and performed in it, as did some of the choreographers and their invited dancers.

The choreography award is normally presented at the Creative Emmy’s performance, which is a week earlier, but Neil Patrick Harris changed it up by asking the choreographers to create a routine for him. The Academy of Arts and Sciences decided to present the choreography award during Primetime for this reason. Watch Derek here as he accepts his award.

For more coverage on this amazing event, check out this site here.

In addition to the nomination that won Derek his first Emmy (mentioned above), he received another Emmy nod in Outstanding Choreography for “Heart Cry“, which he choreographed and performed with Allison Holker (So You Think You Can Dance) during Season 15. The other performers were Melanie Moore, Kathryn McCormack, and Jessica Lee Keller. A second piece was nominated, “Stars,” which Derek performed as an AT&T Spotlight Dance in Season 16 with legally blind dancer Brilynn Rakes.

On November 1,2012 at an event called “The Choreographers – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”, Derek was honored with a special segment. This event was a celebration of the arts, dance, and choreography through a panel discussion with choreographers: Fred Astaire’s former partner, Barrie Chase, Liz Imperio, Keith Young, Fred Tallakesen, and Nappytabs (Napoleon and Tabitha D’Uomo.  The event was attended by fellow choreographers, including also the wives of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Both wives spoke after the event about Derek’s choreographic talent. The hosts were multi-platinum recording artist/choreographer Paula Abdul, and director/choreographer Kenny Ortega. Watch here to hear Derek’s responses to the questions put to him, and to hear the praise that he received.

On July 8, 2010, Derek received two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Choreography in prime time.  The first nomination actually incorporated two selections, his Futuristic Pasodoble, danced with Joanna Krupa in Season 9 to the song Living On Video, and also his QuickStep, danced with Nicole Scherzinger in Season 10 to the song Anything Goes. The second nomination was his Acoustic Pasodoble, choreographed and danced with fellow Dancing With the Stars pro Chelsie Hightower to the song Malagueña.  Receiving two nominations in this category is quite an honor and tribute, especially considering the fame of his fellow nominees: Adam Shankman and Mia Michaels. Stacey Tookey rounded out the nominations.  Mia Michaels was the eventual winner.

Derek’s choreographic talents were showcased when he choreographed a dance that was a combination of Tango and Pasodoble for Cheryl Cole’s Night In, a TV special that aired on December 12, 2009 in the United Kingdom. Derek appeared on the special, leading Cheryl* in very complicated and sultry dance moves, surrounded by a team of dancers. On January 18, 2010, at Eltham Castle outside of London, Derek began the filming of Cheryl’s Parachute music video, re-choreographing the Parachute song to a different theme than the Spanish nightclub theme that was used for the Night In performance. The Parachute music video, in which he also appeared, debuted a few weeks later on January 31st.

* Cheryl Cole is a popular pop star in the UK, a member of the Girls Aloud singing group, and was a judge on England’s popular show X-Factor.

On November 16, 2009, Derek received recognition from world-famous director and choreographer, Kenny Ortega. Kenny tweeted the following message:  Derek Hough Rocks!  He is one of the most exciting dancers working in the scene today. He’s also a Musician and he Choreographs! I’m a big fan.

Kenny Ortega - bigger
Derek with Kenny Ortega

On October 20, 2009, the Dancing With the Stars pros performed a tribute to Michael Jackson, with MJ’s mother and some of his siblings in the audience.  Derek choreographed the first third of the performance, along with Mark Ballas, and the last third, along with some of the other pros.  The day before, in an interview, Michael’s sister LaToya, said that Michael was a fan of Dancing With the Stars, and that Derek was his favorite (male) dancer.  Jermaine Jackson, in an interview, also commented specifically on Derek’s dancing in the tribute, stating that Derek was his favorite in the tribute.

(Joanna Krupa speaking, at 4:16 mark of Natalie Coughlin video): Derek was MJ’s Favorite

Watch here:  Michael Jackson Tribute

Derek, along with his sister Julianne, received an Emmy nomination on July 16, 2009 for Best Choreography for their Season 7 Design-a-Dance.  The dance was a Jive to Jerry Lee Lewis’ Great Balls of Fire.  Congratulations, Derek and Julianne, on the nomination.

Accomplishments (continued)Accolades for Our Man, Derek

Accomplishments are prepared by @donamadrina.

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