All About Derek Hough and Julianne Hough's Brother-Sister Relationship

The brother-sister duo first rose to fame through ABC’s reality show 'Dancing With the Stars' and have teamed up for many projects over the years

Dancing pros and siblings Derek Hough and Julianne Hough are totally in step.

The brother-sister duo first rose to fame through ABC’s reality show Dancing With the Stars, but their dancing background dates back to when they were much younger.

After growing up in Utah with their three other siblings, Sharee, Marabeth, Katherine, Derek and Julianne moved to London, where they eventually attended the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts.

In addition to joining forces for several professional gigs in recent years, including their Move Live On Tour and co-hosting Disney specials, they have also supported each other in their personal lives.

Most recently, Julianne was by Derek’s side as he married his longtime girlfriend Hayley Erbert.

Now, the brother and sister are set to reunite on Dancing With the Stars; Julianne, formerly a dancer on the show, will return to co-host alongside Alfonso Ribeiro and Derek returns as a judge.

They grew up in Utah

Julianne and Derek were born in Orem, Utah, to parents Marianne and Bruce Hough. They also have three other siblings, sisters Sharee, Marabeth, Katherine. Julianne, the youngest, is three years apart from Derek.

They come from a family of performers

<p>Andrew Eccles via Getty</p>

Andrew Eccles via Getty

Julianne and Derek have dancing in there genes; their grandparents were dancers and their parents met while on a ballroom dancing team in college, per Taste of Country. Additionally, Derek and Julianne are the second cousins of musicians Riker, Rydel, Rocky, Ryland Lynch and Ross Lynch from R5 and The Driver Era.

They lived in London with Mark Ballas’ family to study dance at a young age

Jerod Harris/Getty
Jerod Harris/Getty

In their adolescence, amid their parents' divorce, Derek and Julianne were sent to live in London with dance coaches Corky and Shirley Ballas, the parents of fellow DWTS pro Mark Ballas (who remains close with the Houghs to this day and was in Derek's wedding party).

While living in London, Derek and Julianne attended Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, where they studied music, theater and many forms of dance. Derek, Julianne and Mark went on to form their own pop music trio 2B1G ("2 Boys, 1 Girl") and performed at dance competitions in the UK and US.

Speaking with PEOPLE in 2014, the brother-sister duo recalled how their challenging childhood shaped their success as ballroom dancers. “People will say, ‘How could your parents let you go off to do that?’ ” Derek told PEOPLE at the time. “I think it’s great that they saw an amazing opportunity. That is the reason we are here today.”

They both appeared in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

While living in London, Derek and Julianne had small cameos in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Julianne appeared as a Gryffindor student during one of the Quidditch matches, while Derek had a small cameo as a Ravenclaw student in a scene with Emma Watson’s Hermione.

"There's a specific scene where Hermione is leaving for Christmas while carrying her suitcase. We pass in the hallway," Derek told Entertainment Weekly about his scene. "I was holding an owl. That's my big moment. I'm right in the camera's viewpoint, so every time you look at Hermione, you can see me, clear as day."

Meanwhile, Julianne recalled her time on set fondly to PEOPLE, noting she had a big crush on the film's star, Daniel Radcliffe. "I gave him a love note and a Beanie Baby for Valentine's Day," she said. "I didn't personally give it to him because I was just an extra, but I gave it to his assistant or PA that was working with him."

They’ve gone on tour together

<p>Noam Galai/Getty</p>

Noam Galai/Getty

In 2014, the two joined forces for their Move Live On Tour, which included dancing and singing from both of them. The tour was such a major success, they announced the return of the Move Live on Tour in the summer of 2015. They later revamped the tour again in 2017 with their Move Beyond Live On Tour.

"We actually work pretty well together,” Derek told Good Morning America about his professional relationship with his sister. “We kind of have like this hidden language where we don't really talk … it's actually great. We're very privileged, we feel very lucky to do something that you love with somebody that you love and care about. It's a wonderful thing."

They’ve won Dancing With the Stars multiple times

<p>Kelsey McNeal/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty</p>

Kelsey McNeal/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Derek and Julianne have made countless appearances as pro dancers on Dancing With the Stars over the years, and have won eight Mirrorball trophies between the two of them, with Derek having six wins and Julianne having two.

Though they later left the realty series as pro dancers to pursue other projects, Derek returned to the show as a judge in season 29. He is set to return as a judge in season 32, alongside Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli, who have served on the panel for 31 consecutive seasons.

Season 32 will also mark a special reunion for Derek and Julianne, as the latter is set to join the cast as co-host alongside Alfonso Ribeiro.

"You know, it makes sense," Derek told Entertainment Tonight about his sister rejoining the show. "I mean Julianne is an alum, you know. She's won the show twice. She's a part of the family, you know what I mean? And so when I heard the news too, I was like, 'That makes sense.'"

They are both Emmy winners

<p>Jason Kempin/Getty</p>

Jason Kempin/Getty

In 2015, Derek and Julianne won an Emmy for outstanding choreography for their Dancing With the Stars routine set to Sia’s “Elastic Heart.” At the 2015 Creative Arts Emmy Awards, the duo showed off their trophies as they posed alongside their co-choreographer Tessandra Chavez in the press room.

Derek has two other Emmy wins for his work on Dancing with the Stars, including one for outstanding choreography in 2013 and outstanding choreography for variety or reality programming in 2021.

They were in each other’s weddings

<p>Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty</p>

Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Derek and Julianne are supportive of each other on and off the ballroom floor. Naturally, the siblings have played big roles in each other’s weddings.

When Julianne tied the knot with Brooks Laich in July 2017, Derek served a groomsman. “It was amazing, it really was. It was perfect. It was perfection. And I’m like, ‘Shoot, I’m going to have to elope after this. There’s no competing with this wedding,” Derek told PEOPLE about his sister’s wedding, joking it was like “a Nicholas Sparks movie on steroids.”

Though Julianne and Brooks later divorced in 2022, they were both in Derek’s wedding party when he tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Hayley Erbert in August 2023. Brooks served as one of Derek’s groomsmen, while Julianne was one of Hayley’s bridesmaids.

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