Here’s a print profile, out this week, of a pro dancer who has a good chance of going all the way …

Nicole_Scherzinger_Derek_Hough.jpgBefore this
season even began on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” – which has its two-part season
finale on Monday and Tuesday, May 24 and 25 – professional ballroom dancer Derek Hough was
already nursing an injury after celebrity partner Nicole Scherzinger
accidentally kicked him in the face during rehearsals.

 

This is
nothing new for Hough. Previous troubles included a neck injury, food
poisoning, a brief blackout after a fall and a bout of the flu.

 

Thankfully,
he’s in his early 20s and has strong recuperative powers.

 

“I’m
definitely accident-prone,” he says. “I’m always getting hurt, especially on
this show. Around this time – knock on wood – I get sick or the flu or my neck
gets hurt. It’s always something with me.”

 

(HCTV: Not long after this interview
took place, Hough complained on camera of neck and back pain, so apparently his
streak continues unbroken in this regard.)

 

While many
celebrities get hurt, they’re not the only ones.

 

“You know
what,” Hough says, “you’ve got to make sure that you stretch and take care of
yourself. Sometimes, honestly, we forget, because we get so caught up in
choreographing and teaching our partners that we sometimes forget to stretch
ourselves and take care of our bodies. That’s why sometimes injuries happen to
us as well.”

 

Hough
characterizes himself a taskmaster but not a joyless one.

 

“My style
of teaching,” he says, “is I’m very strict, I’m very hard, but it’s always fun
for me. I always want to have fun in my rehearsals. In whatever I do, I want to
enjoy myself. I love what I do, and I want to make sure, when the celebrities
walk out, that they enjoy the rehearsals and they don’t dread it.”

 

He also
thinks it’s important to bounce back from disputes in the rehearsal hall.

 

“In
general,” he says, “in life, I don’t believe arguments should last very long.
So we argue for about five seconds, ‘All right, we’re done; on to the next
thing.’ There’s just not enough time to argue.”

 

Birthplace: Salt
Lake City
, on May 17, making him a Taurus

 

Family cred: His sister, Julianne Hough, is also
a professional ballroom dancer. She has
Derek_Hough.jpg appeared on “Dancing With the Stars”
and is currently pursuing a country music career.

 

Theater cred: Played Ren McCormack in the U.K.
tour and the West End production of “Footloose: The Musical,” played the lead
in “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the Millfield Theatre in London and danced in
the company for “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” at the London Palladium

 

Dance cred: Won the IDSF World Youth Latin
Championship in 2002 for Poland
with Aneta Piotrowska

 

Favorite book: “I read all the Dan Brown books a
long time ago. I really enjoyed those. I really enjoyed ‘Angels and Demons’
when I read that, but that was a long time ago. I’m terrible, I don’t want to
say this, but I don’t read very often.”

 

Favorite music: “My favorite type of music is rock
music. One of my favorite bands right now is Muse. I love Breaking Benjamin. I
love 30 Seconds to Mars. I love rock music; I love metal music. The one music
that I’m not really huge on is country music, which is pretty funny considering
my sister’s a country artist.”

 

Favorite movie: “I’m a huge movie buff. I love to
go see movies. I go by myself to movie theaters, get my popcorn, so for me to
pick one would be extremely hard. I loved ‘American History X,‘ thought that
was a great film. I loved ‘Inglourious Basterds’; that was awesome. And I like
the lighthearted ones. I really enjoyed ‘Kick-Ass.’

 

Posted by:Kate O'Hare