Derek Hough says Julianne's fiancé is 'a phenomenal guy'

By Alex Cramer

Derek Hough has always had an especially close relationship with his dance partner, sister Julianne Hough, so his approval of her fiancé was particularly important. And after Julianne and boyfriend Brooks Laich became engaged last week, Derek was eager to offer two thumbs up at the 2015 Industry Dance Awards & Cancer Benefit show in Los Angeles. “I think that when somebody lights you up, they light you up, and that’s it,” he told Hello! of what makes the couple such a perfect pair. “I think they have a great dynamic together.”

Derek and Julianne have been dance partners since they were children. Photo: © Getty Images

He continued about the NHL player: “I think it helps that he is sort of separated from this world so he is like, ‘Let’s go fishing.’ He’s a phenomenal guy. He’s a dude’s dude. He’s a guy’s guy. They are a perfect match so I’m thrilled for both of them. It’s amazing.”

Of course, 27-year-old Julianne wasn’t the only one with big news this week. It was just announced that Derek will be returning to Dancing With the Stars for its 21st season. “Well, I got injured last season. I got injured, and I was also doing 13 shows a week at Radio City in New York simultaneously so that was a huge challenge,” he explained of his decision to return. “I want to come back this season. I feel amazing. I just did a 49-city tour. I just came off that last week, and it was incredible. I feel healthy. I feel good. I’m feeling ready to go. I’m excited.”

Even as he returns to the dance floor, longtime DWTS head judge Len Goodman has decided to vacate the judges’ table and has announced that he would not be returning for the next season. However Derek says that the notoriously tart-tongued judge hasn’t left the show entirely. “He’ll be in and out. But it’s the 21st season on top of doing 15 seasons in England simultaneously so he’s a champion man,” he said. “He’s our guy. I love him. I love Len, and I’ll miss him, but he’s not going just yet.”

Derek attended the Industry Dance Awards & Cancer Benefit. Photo: © Getty Images

With an available seat next to his sister on the DWTS judges panel, would the 30-year-old ever consider trading in his dancing shoes? “I would be too antsy behind a desk. I would want to get out there and move and dance,” he confessed. “I think I still got a lot more in me. So no plans on slowing down right now.”

We’re just happy to know that the five-time mirror ball winner will be dancing across our TV screen again soon.

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