Derek Hough Teases Returning to 'Dancing With the Stars' Ballroom as a Pro

Dancing With the Stars judge Derek Hough may very well have his eyes on the Mirrorball trophy... again. After taking home the honor a historic six times, Hough now joins the ABC dancing competition as a judge alongside Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli, but he hasn’t ruled out stepping back onto the ballroom stage as pro dancer.

Just days after ABC confirmed Dancing With the Stars will be returning for Season 30, Hough opened up about his future on the show while speaking with Us Weekly, joking to the outlet that "when Tom Brady won a seventh Super Bowl, I was like, 'Oh no, do I need to go for seven here?'" He went on to add, "no I think — who knows?" quipping that while there are currently no concrete plans for him to show his skills on the dance floor, "I never say never." For right now, however, Hough said he is "looking forward to going back as a judge."

Hough first joined the dancing competition as a professional dancer back in Season 5 and remained a pro for a total for 17 seasons, something he admitted is "insane [with] the time constraint. You're trying to teach something." While being a pro is no easy feat, the dancer has won a record number of six mirrorball trophies. He took home his first win in Season 7 alongside celebrity partner Brooke Burke before again nabbing the trophy with Nicole Scherzinger (season 10), Jennifer Grey (season 11), Kellie Pickler (season 16), Amber Riley (season 17), and Bindi Irwin (season 21). Hough then left the competition. Fans last saw him take the stage alongside his girlfriend, Hayley Erbert, during Season 29, for which he returned to the series as a judge, a role that he admitted has its own difficulties.

"The hardest part about [being a judge is] just keeping what I'm trying to say [to] 20 seconds because it's live," Hough told Us Weekly. "That's been really difficult, especially because I want to help, but I want to coach, so I want to be like, 'All right, so here's what we're going to do.' And I'm like, 'Oh wait, we can't do that.’'I just gotta give a general critique."

Along with Goodman, Inaba, and Tonioli, Hough will be returning for Season 30 alongside Tyra Banks. Banks took over hosting duties after the network announced it was taking the show in a new creative direction, and as part of that move, let go long-time hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews. At this time, further details for Season 30, including celebrity contestants and pro dancers, have not been announced. A premiere date also is not yet available, though it is believed the show will return in fall 2021.