Derek Hough is a ballroom staple on “Dancing with the Stars,” with five mirrorball trophy wins under his belt.
The dancing pro has grown accustomed to earning 10s across the board from the judges, but after being paired with Paralympian Amy Purdy, Derek says receiving top marks with his new partner holds significantly more meaning.
“I’ve been on the show now 12 seasons and this season has brought a whole new meaning and brought a whole new sense of fulfillment to the whole process, which has been really exciting,” Derek told Kit Hoover and Billy Bush during an appearance with Amy on Friday’s Access Hollywood Live. “I really feel privileged to be a part of this.”
Amy is also over the moon over the support she and Derek have received both from the fans and from the judges, but admitted learning to dance in new prosthetic feet for the show has been incredibly challenging – especially the solid wood pair she wore for her and Derek’s lyrical dance, which were actually pointed feet made for amputee swimmers.
“It’s really hard, like the most major core workout you can ever imagine,” she said of the feet, which forced her to balance on a pointed toe shape. “I was on maybe a fourth-inch by an inch platform on each foot, so that’s less than a ballerina, I think. They don’t have any dynamic movement. It’s stilts!”
Despite the physical challenges, the 34-year-old snowboarder said she’s loving every minute of her time on “DWTS.”
“This is the funnest experience ever,” she said. “And there’s so much personal growth with it, just challenging yourself – I’m doing stuff I had no idea I could do.”
“Dancing with the Stars” airs Monday at 8/7con ABC.
-- Erin O’Sullivan