With her perfect looks and dazzling dance-floor moves, Hough became America’s spinning sweetheart when she joined—and ultimately won—Dancing With the Stars. An aspiring entertainer from an early age, Hough left her Utah home at age 10 to study at London’s Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts. Her efforts paid off when she became the first U.S.-born dancer to be crowned International Latin Youth Champion and Junior Blackpool World Latin Champion. Although she returned to Utah to finish high school, after graduation she headed to Los Angeles and quickly booked a gig as a sexy dancer on the short-lived game show “Show Me the Money.” From there, she joined the Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) tour as a company dancer. In a 42nd Street-like twist, when lead dancer Kym Johnson injured herself, Hough replaced her, twirling across the country with Season 1 Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) contestant Joey MacIntyre. Her impressive work led to her addition to Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) proper. She was paired with Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno in Season 4 and race-car driver Helio Castraneves in Season 5, winning back-to-back mirror-ball trophies. Proving that she’s more than just a hoofer, Hough released her first country-music album in May 2008. She quickly followed up with a 2008 holiday album and also performed in Brad Paisley’s 2008 tour.
Julianne Hough Fast Facts:
- Grew up in Utah with four brothers and sisters.
- Lived in London for five years, from age 10 to 15, to train with top dance teachers.
- Along with her brother Derek, was part of the kids band 2B1G, which stood for “two boys, one girl.”
- Assisted in choreographing Gwen Stefani’s video for “Wind It Up.”
- In February 2007, after her plane overran the runway upon landing in snowy conditions, Hough shared her cell-phone photos in an interview with a Cleveland news station. The reason for her trip: her first meeting with her Dancing With the Stars partner, Apolo Anton Ohno.
- Released her first country-music album in May 2008.