Derek Hough to Perform During 'Dancing With the Stars' for the First Time Since 2017

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derek hough at 24th Annual Keep Memory Alive Power Of Love Gala
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Derek Hough is returning to the ballroom! On Wednesday, ABC announced that the 35-year-old Dancing With the Stars judge will perform during the Oct. 19 episode, marking the first time he's done so since 2017.

The dancer will perform with his girlfriend -- who's also a former DWTS pro -- Hayley Erbert. Hough, who's currently serving as a DWTS judge, previously competed as a pro for 17 seasons, most recently in 2016. He won the mirrorball a total of six times, the most of any pro. 

"I'm very, very excited. I'm even more excited to be dancing with my lovely girlfriend, my love," Hough said during Day 2 of ABC's virtual fall press panels on Wednesday. "We get to dance together in the ballroom. We're already planning it. We actually did a little session yesterday. We woke up this morning very sore, so we're like, 'Oh, okay, we have three weeks to make this happen.'" 

Hough also noted that being back in the ballroom this season has already brought back memories and made him feel nostalgic.

"Being a part of the show has been such a dream and I'm so thankful for it, and to have the honor and the pleasure to perform once again in this sacred space, it really is a pleasure," he said. "I certainly won't want to disappoint. I'm going to bring my all to the dance floor, as much as I possibly can."

"I'm excited. My M.O. is entertaining, bringing joy to people and that's it," he added. "That's as simple as that, and I'm so happy I can be able to do that on this show."

When ET spoke with Hough earlier this month, he revealed why it was the right time for him to make his DWTS return.

"It was something that was talked about, I think maybe last year, but timing, things happening, this is the right time," he said. "I'm excited. I'm actually excited about the timing of this in the sense that I don't really know how they're going to do this and how the season's going to happen with protocols and stuff. But that excites me. I like that uncertainty; I like that unknown."

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays on ABC.

Reporting by Philiana Ng 

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