“We’re always dancing, just putting music on,” Hough, 34, told Us Weekly exclusively at the Paley Center for Media Presents: An Evening With Derek Hough and Julianne Hough on Thursday, December 5, in Beverly Hills. “To be honest with you, I’m usually a lot more mellow during the holidays.”
Despite coming from a dancing family and being busy all year long, the former Dancing With the Stars pro likes to take it easy around Christmas.
“That’s the time I kind of switch off, turn off and just chill,” he told Us. “Well, I say that but then I’m snowboarding or snowmobiling. But the rest of the family is going crazy, there’s kids and nieces and nephews everywhere, so yeah.”
In between outdoor sports and family dance-offs, Hough finds time for other creative outlets, which stem from his greatest Christmas gift of all time.
“One of the best Christmas gifts I’ve ever received honestly is a keyboard. My dad got it for me, and I remember taking it back to London when I was living there, and that’s how I learned how to play piano, it just spawned a lot of creativity,” he said. “And I always get an art kit too, almost every year, and I’m always painting or drawing.”
The Utah native isn’t great at turning it off, but that’s OK for holiday lovers, who can turn to him for the best songs to dance to this holiday. According to the Nashville alum, “Let It Snow” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Underneath the Tree” are at the top of his festive dance playlist.
While preparing for his new holiday special, Holidays With the Houghs, which also features his sister Julianne Hough, the World of Dance judge got into the holiday spirit in July by putting up lights and embracing the holiday vibes. If all goes according to plan, fans will see his spirit in action during the show, which airs on Monday, December 16 on NBC.
“I’m bringing back some magic that I’ve done in the past but in a different way. Singing, there’s a song that I sing in the show and I’m playing piano while the dancers do this incredible routine around the piano and on the piano. It’s fun,” he explained. “We bring the nostalgia, the classic, the old-school, the new-school and it’s just a good time.”
He added: “It’s good, yeah. I’m excited for everyone to see it.”
With reporting by Ingrid Meilan
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