Dancing With The Stars: How Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough Achieved Their Gravity-Defying Freestyle

Derek Hough is a professional dancer, but in his Monday night “Dancing With the Stars” freestyle with celebrity partner Kellie Pickler, he tried out a move he’s never managed to try in his pro career.

In the number, Derek (as pictured above) put his body down on the floor, arched his back and held Kellie as she seemed to defy gravity while leaning forward.

“I saw it once and it was actually a long time ago, I was like, ‘Hey, let’s play around with some ideas.’ We tried it and we didn’t get very far, but I thought maybe we’ll keep working on it, we’ll keep doing it and then we were like, ‘Let’s just go for broke. Let’s just go for it,’” Derek told Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson of how the idea came about in their pre-finals rehearsals.

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To perform the move that floored “Dancing” fans — and the judges — Derek said they defied the laws of physics.

“Physics say it doesn’t work. But, honestly… she sits [on my shoulders], and I kind of put my hands on her thighs and that’s it,” Derek said, of how they got into position. “She just leans and it’s all about me arching my back and looking backwards.”

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“And I dig my heels [into his shoulders],” Kellie added.

“Honestly, it’s just brute strength,” Derek said. “And honestly, I’m not the strongest guy in the world but now I feel strong now.”

Derek credited Kellie as the inspiration for prompting him to add the impressive move into their freestyle routine.

“I’ve seen the move before and I always wanted to try it… but [there was] something with Kellie,” Derek told Shaun. “She really has pushed my choreography because I want to showcase her and I also want to like wow people and show what she can do. … I’m really glad that it all worked out because a lot of stuff could have gone wrong and I’m really happy.”

-- Jolie Lash

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