Derek Hough – DWTS Special Performances

Throughout different seasons of Dancing with the stars we had the privilege to see Derek Hough creating some choreographic masterpieces. And we are not talking about the dances with his partners, but the ones he created for the Result Shows, Macy’s Star of Dance or AT&T Spotlight Performances. Those performances allowed Derek to choreograph unrestricted by the ballroom rules where he could unleash his incredible creativity. These performances brought him 6 out of the total 8 Emmy Nominations and, in 2013 and 2015, the two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Choreography.

Derek won Macy’s Stars of Dance: Design-a-Dance in seasons 7, 8, 11 and 13 (in total four out of eight times). In seasons 9 & 10 no pros were selected to perform but previous stars who competed on the show and in season 12 Derek was not part of the season in general. In season 14 (the last time of Design-a-Dance), Chelsie and Tristan performed a Samba.

  • Macy’s Stars Of Dance – Design a Dance (Season 7): Derek Hough & Julianne Hough (Jive to “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis) – Emmy Nomination (2009)


  • Macy’s Stars Of Dance – Design a Dance (Season 8): Derek Hough, Julianne Hough, Mark Ballas & Lacey Schwimmer (Quickstep to “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing))


  • Macy’s Stars Of Dance – Design a Dance (Season 11): Derek Hough & Cheryl Burke (Jive to”It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me” by Billy Joel)


  • Macy’s Stars Of Dance – Design a Dance (Season 13): Derek Hough & Anna Trebunskaya (Paso Doble to “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga)


In season 18, Derek became the Creative Director for Macy’s Stars of Dance and choreographed three amazing routines.

  • DWTS 18 – Week 4: “Tribal Infusion” Derek Hough, Kathryn McCormick, Artem Chigvintsev, Henry Byalikov, Sasha Farber & Jonathan Platero (Flamenco/Paso Doble on “Ameska”) – Emmy Nomination (2014)


  • DWTS 18 – Week 6: “Animals” – Derek Hough, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Witney Carson, Sharna Burgess, Peta Murgatroyd, Mark Ballas, Lindsay Arnold, Jenna Johnson, Artem Chigvintsev, Sasha Farber, Kryoman


  • DWTS 18 – Week 9: “Classic Movie Set” – Derek Hough, Jessica Lee Keller, Mark Ballas, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Sharna Burgess, Peta Murgatroy, Jenna Johnson


The AT&T Spotlight Performances brought us the chance to see some touching and inspiring stories and some of the most incredible performances yet.

  • AT&T Spotlight Performance Season 13 Week 5 featured Charm Ladonna (with Derek Hough & Mark Ballas)


  • AT&T Spotlight Performance Season 16 Week 4 featured Brilynn Rakes (with Derek Hough) – Emmy Nomination (2013)


And in case you did not find out this until now, our favorite Siblings Team is formed by Derek and Julianne Hough. They enchanted us in numerous occasions on DWTS. The return of Julianne and her Jive with Derek was definitely one of those occasions.

  • Special Performance Season 13 Week 4 (Results Show)Derek & Julianne Hough (Jive to “Shake your tail feather”)


Another stunning performance that got Derek a shared Emmy Nomination (with Chelsie Hightower) in 2010 was this amazing Paso Doble. Mark Ballas accompanied them on guitar. What a stellar performance!

  • Special Performance Season 10 Week 3 (Results Show) – Derek Hough and Chelsie Hightower (Paso Doble on “Malagueñ”) – Emmy Nomination (2010)


Some of the best DWTS performances we ever saw are the one Derek created with Allison Holker, the woman Derek calls his muse.

  • Special Performance Season 13 – Week 7 (Results Show) – Derek Hough and Allison Holker (Flamenco/Argentine Tango mix on ‘Gypsy’ by Black Violin)


  • Special Performance Season 15 – Week 9 (Results Show) Derek Hough, Allison Holker, Jessica Lee Keller, Melanie Moore and Kathryn McCormick (Contemporary on “Heart Cry” by Drehz) – Emmy Nomination (2013)


And we saved the best for last. This two special performances left the whole world in awe. In the first one, Derek joined by the amazing Jaimie Goodwin, defied the gravity and made history. This jewel brought Derek in 2013 his first Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography.

  • Macy’s Stars of Dance Season 16 – Week 8 Derek Hough & Jaimie Goodwin (Contemporary on “Walking On Air” by Kerli) – Emmy Win (2013)


In the second performance, Derek and Julianne alongside Joey German and Emma York (playing young Derek and Julianne) performed to Sia’s amazing song “Elastic Heart”. This phenomenal routine was, as Julianne says on her official sitea representation of going back to our childhood and identifying those moments. The younger dancers Emma and Joey represented the younger versions of us. Every time we would interact with them, it symbolized Derek and I trying to reconnect with our childhood selves. The destruction we created in the room wasn’t out of anger or frustration, it was out of carefree fun. A reminder that as adults we can still have fun!This stunning performance brought Derek in 2015 his second Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography.

  • Special Performance Season 20 Week 10 (Finale) – Derek & Julianne Hough (Contemporary to Sia’s “Elastic Heart). The routine was choreographed by Derek Hough, Julianne Hough and Tessandra Chavez. – Emmy Win (2015)


Derek’s creativity knows no boundaries and we are sure more special performances are still to come, as well as Emmy Wins and Nominations.

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