Julianne Hough Not Returning To ‘Dancing With The Stars’, Will Work With Brother Derek On ‘World Of Dance’

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Julianne Hough has no plans to return to Dancing with the Stars for the show’s upcoming all-athletes mini-season, but that doesn’t mean she has closed the door on the world of dance. Julianne, who stepped away from her role as a judge on the long-running ABC celebrity ballroom competition last season so she could focus on other projects, told Entertainment Tonight she will appear as a guest mentor on Season 2 of her brother Derek Hough’s new show, World of Dance.

“I actually just did a mentor session with [Derek],” Julianne told ET.

“He asked me to come and mentor, so, yeah. I just did it the other day. It was so much fun and the dancers are incredible.”

Julianne Hough also revealed that she will work with some of the dancers that were featured on the Move Beyond Live tour she did with Derek in 2016 and 2017.

“There’s actually a couple of people that were on our tour that are now doing [World of Dance],” Hough dished. “It’s so amazing when you can see people that you’ve worked with [before] and just see them grow and, like, blossom into these incredible dancers or whoever they want to become. There’s like a proud mama feeling.”

Derek Hough will return as a judge for the second season of World of Dance alongside Jennifer Lopez and Neyo. Julianne won’t be seated at the judges’ table for the NBC dance competition, but she raved about her big brother and their close connection. Julianne described Derek, a six-time DWTS mirrorball champ and Emmy Award-winning choreographer, as “amazing.”

“He’s so so brilliant [and] we also just feed off of each other,” Julianne said. “We’re a good blend and a [good] mix.”

While she won’t join her brother Derek as a judge on World of Dance, Julianne Hough revealed she still has another long-awaited series in the works. Julianne is developing Blackpool, a fictional ballroom story. The show has been in development for at least five years and was originally slated for Starz. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Derek Hough was also involved in the development of the dark dancing drama early on, but he hasn’t mentioned it in recent interviews. It is unclear if Derek is still involved with the new show, which will revolve around the annual ballroom competition in Blackpool, England, and focus on the other side of ballroom dancing.

“When you step back from it, you see that obsession with perfection and the fact that the lifestyle that you thought was so glamorous is actually a little shocking,” Julianne Hough told THR of the darker side of dance.

With Julianne out, Dancing With the Stars will presumably go with a three-judge format for the upcoming 26th season, with longtime judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli. But despite her busy schedule, Julianne Hough has not ruled out a return to Dancing With the Stars in the future.

“Obviously, Dancing has always been my family,” Hough told ET. “I was on it, I left for a little while, I came back. So, who knows what will transpire [in the future]. But as of right now, I’m focusing on [Blackpool], my acting and then my music. That’s really sort of my focus right now.”

Dancing With the Stars returns for a four-week season featuring 10 athletes on Monday, April 30 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. World of Dance returns Tuesday, May 29 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.