Derek Hough Is Skipping Season 22 Of ‘Dancing With The Stars’: What’s He Doing Instead?

Season 22 of Dancing With the Stars begins soon on ABC, but reports indicate that Derek Hough will not be one of the professional dancers hitting the dance floor. This will not be the first time that Derek has taken a break from DWTS, and many dedicated fans are cheering for him, given the projects he is tackling this spring instead. What’s the scoop on Hough’s decision to take a break from the pursuit of the mirror-ball trophy?

As Dancing With the Stars fans know, Derek Hough won the mirror-ball trophy last fall with partner Bindi Irwin, and that was his sixth win in 16 seasons. Previous wins came with Brooke Burke-Charvet, Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Grey, Kellie Pickler, and Amber Riley.

In addition, Derek came in second with partners Shawn Johnson during the All-Stars season, as well as Amy Purdy in Season 18. In six other DWTS seasons, Hough took his partner to either third or fourth place.

This Dancing With the Stars professional first joined the ABC reality television series in the fifth season of the show with Jennie Garth, and Hough skipped Season 12. Many thought Derek would be gone last spring, but he popped up at the last minute with Nastia Liukin in a move that surprised even some of the other DWTS pros.

So, what is it that is taking Hough away from the Dancing With the Stars dance floor this time? Entertainment Tonight confirmed that Derek will be taking a break from the show for now, but that does not necessarily mean he is gone for good. There has been talk that he does still have a bit of time left on his contract, but viewers will have to wait and see when and if he returns.

Rather than have a partner on Dancing With the Stars, Hough will be preparing for a stint on Broadway. There had been rumors about this exciting gig swirling for months, and it was recently made official. Derek will be starring in Harvey Weinstein’s new Broadway production of Singin’ in the Rain. This comes after Hough tackled Radio City Music Hall’s New York Spring Spectacular last year, a stint that overlapped with his partnership with Nastia and caused some significant challenges.

As Variety confirms, Hough will tackle Gene Kelly’s role of Don Lockwood in the iconic show. Derek has frequently talked in the past of his love for Kelly, and he has even created some performances on Dancing With the Stars inspired by Singin’ in the Rain. Weinstein’s Broadway version will not open for a bit yet, but it seems that Derek has decided to focus on that project, as well as the other opportunities swirling on his plate right now, and step away from DWTS for a bit, if not for good.

As for the official Season 22 cast, Dancing With the Stars has celebrities like Ginger Zee, Jodie Sweetin, Von Miller, Antonio Brown, Marla Maples, and Geraldo Rivera set to dance this spring. Which partnerships will flourish and which ones will falter? DWTS fans are excited to see how things come together, and the official cast announcement comes via Good Morning America on Tuesday.

Will you be rooting for Derek Hough to return to Dancing With the Stars again in a future season, or do you think he should embrace these opportunities like Singin’ in the Rain and say farewell to DWTS for good? Tune in to the new season of the ABC show beginning on Monday, March 21, to see which new pair will scoop up the mirror-ball trophy.

[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]