When the Move Live tour ends in late July, star Derek Hough is going to need a rest.
He just wrapped up a full season on the hit ABC show “Dancing With the Stars” on Tuesday, finishing in second place with partner, Paralympian Amy Purdy. And for the past four weeks, while still competing on the show, he’s been filling any free time rehearsing with his movie star sister Julianne Hough for their new stage show that opens Wednesday at Hartman Arena and is already sold out in venues across the country.
Recently, Julianne Hough called from Los Angeles – specifically from a park in Los Angeles, where she was playing with and occasionally having to chase after her small nieces – to talk about the tour, which she described as a “rock concert for dance.”
When Julianne called, rehearsal for the show had just began, and it was having to revolve around Derek’s tough schedule.
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“That’s the hardest part. He’s in the thick of it,” Julianne said of her 29-year-old big brother, who won an Emmy last year for choreography he did for “Dancing with the Stars” and is the show’s only five-time pro champion. “He’s also the director of the ‘Macy’s Stars of Dance,’ he’s doing the show with Amy, and he just directed Mark Ballas’ music video. He’s a busy boy. We might not start rehearsals till 3 each day.”
Not that Julianne, 25, isn’t also busy. After five seasons as a pro dancer on “Dancing With the Stars,” she left the show, recorded a country album and starred in several movies, including the 2011 remake of “Footloose” and 2012’s “Rock of Ages.”
But the siblings, the two youngest of five, have long wanted to carve time out for a show of their own, Julianne said.
“My brother and I were just thinking, every time we run into fans on the street or we read messages from people, it’s always like, ‘When are you and your brother going to do something again? When are you and your sister going to do something? It was never really the right time, but we thought, ‘This is the right time.’ We’re at very good places in our lives and our careers. and we want to go back to our roots where it all began: dancing.”
The pair has been dancing since childhood. They grew up outside of Salt Lake City, the children and grandchildren of dancers. When Derek was 12, he went to live and train in London at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts with dance coaches Corky and Shirley Ballas, the parents of fellow “Dancing With the Stars” pro Mark Ballas. Julianne followed a few months later. Derek stayed with the school for 10 years, Julianne for five.
For the Move Live tour, the Houghs teamed up with Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo, also known as Nappytabs, who are known for their award-winning choreography on “So You Think You Can Dance.”
The show, Julianne said, will be a high-energy, participatory dance extravaganza that will leave audience members energized. It’ll have set changes, costume switch ups, a whole cast of backup dancers and every style of dance imaginable. The Houghs, both of whom are vocalists, also plan to sing.
“The thing that the audience will expect is probably what they’ve seen on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ ” Julianne said. “But it’s 10 times more than that. It’s ballroom. It’s Latin. It’s jazz. It’s tap. It’s singing. It’s playing instruments and interacting with the crowd.”
Julianne said she’s also looking forward to spending some quality time with her brother and that the two hope it can become a repeat thing they do year after year.
The two get a long well, she said, and there’s no rivalry that would cause sibling drama on the road. She and her brother have always been each others’ biggest boosters and protectors.
“Derek and I have a really unique relationship,” she said. “We’re more of a team and a partnership than normal brother and sister. Because of our time we spent in England away from our family, we really took care of each other. We never really had time to bicker or fight.”