Derek Hough is two-stepping out of the ballroom! After 16 seasons, the six-time mirrorball champion will not return for season 22 of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, a source reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly.
“Derek will always love Dancing With the Stars and the friends he’s made through the show,” says a close source. “And the door isn’t closed there. He’ll always be a part of the family.”
The pro, 30, is instead prepping for a major role in Broadway’s upcoming musical Singin’ in the Rain.
Tackling the role originated by Gene Kelly in the 1952 classic film “is so exciting for Derek,” adds the insider. “Gene Kelly is a huge inspiration to him, and he’s honored to be playing a role that Gene made famous!”
Until rehearsals pick up in the fall, Hough’s schedule is jam-packed, including a guest role on ABC’s Nashville.
Still, this isn’t the first time Hough has announced his departure from DWTS. In January 2015, Hough said he would not return to the ABC dance competition’s 20th season because he was focusing on his role in Radio City Music Hall’s New York Spring Spectacular. However, a month later, he decided to pull double duty and rejoined the cast as gymnast Nastia Liukin‘s partner.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” he tweeted at the time.
Season 22 of Dancing With the Stars premieres March 21.
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