Derek Hough Credits TikTok for Unleashing His 'Inner Dork' (Exclusive)

Derek Hough may be one of the most talented professional dancers and choreographers to date but when it comes to TikTok, he doesn't take himself too seriously. TikTok has become one of the more popular social media platforms in recent years, but it's one that will even make millennials feel old. The younger generations, including Gen Z and their perfectly timed choreography, have caught millions of eyes like those of older generations attempt to do the same.

While many can accomplish putting together a viral-worthy TikTok video, others find it to be a struggle. During an exclusive interview with, Hough said he doesn't use the platform to take himself seriously. Instead, he just has fun with it. "To be honest with you, I don't do 98% of the trends because honestly, I'd be like that weird uncle in a nightclub, like, 'Why is he here? Get outta here bro,'" the 36-year-old joked. "In fact, there's been a few times where my nephew's like, he would comment on something, and his friend would be like, 'Yo, somebody come pick up your uncle.'"

While the Dancing With the Stars judge takes his work very seriously, as it shows on stage because he's so good at what he does, he confessed that the social app gave him the "green light" to be his "inner dork" for fans on the social network. "For me, TikTok was just like a green light for me to be my inner dork. Which, honestly, I feel like my emotional home, I live at dork. So it was great! I was like, 'Oh this is great! I can be a fool, and corny and cheesy and stupid and silly and it's totally okay,'" he said. "I definitely don't do it to be cool," he added.

Cool or not cool, his fans are loving every bit of it. Hough did give some advice to those who are maybe trying to find more of their rhythm. While he makes dancing look so easy and smooth, that's not always the case for some, so he joked about taking a shot of tequila to help loosen up. "Probably a couple of shots of tequila," Hough joked, "Because honestly, I always find that people are like, 'Oh, I don't dance,' then you see them having a few drinks, and they're like, 'Yes!'"


While he's keeping busy as he gears up to return for Dancing With the Stars 30th Season, he's also helping a few fur-babies find homes this summer. Hough recently partnered with Purina ONE as they kick off their 28-day challenge. "They've been supporting shelters for years. Even since 2015, they've donated $8 million pounds of dog and cat food," he said. For every person who signs up for the 28-day challenge, Purina ONE will donate $1 to Petfinder Foundation. For more information, visit purinaone/adoptablepets.