EXCLUSIVE: Inside Julianne Hough's 'Surprising' Decision Not to Return to 'DWTS'

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Fans were shocked when Dancing With the Stars revealed that Julianne Hough would not be returning as a judge for season 25, and now ET has new details about her decision to leave the show. 

A source tells ET that the 29-year-old dancer chose not to return because she's working on other projects and focusing on her acting career. 

RELATED: Julianne Hough Not Returning as Judge for 'Dancing With the Stars' Season 25

Hough starred as a pro on DWTS from 2007 to 2009, and won two Mirror ball trophies, before becoming a judge on season 19 in 2014. She continued to judge every season except for season 22 last year.

Though the blonde beauty recently tied the knot with Brooks Laich, ET's source says her new marriage (and Laich's hockey career) wasn't the reason for her leaving the show. "It has nothing to do with her husband's schedule. She is so not that person," the source reveals. "She would never ever sacrifice her career for her husband." 

Goodbye summer - hello hockey season! #isitOctoberyet

A post shared by Brooks Laich (@brookslaich) on

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ET's source did note, however, that those close to Hough were "surprised" by her decision to leave "something so stable," but that it's possible she will return to the show in the future. 

"DWTS is a consistent gig with a steady paycheck. Often these dancers try to move on to what they hope are greener pastures only to realize that’s not the case," the source explains. "For Julianne, she is still on very good terms with everyone over at DWTS and no bridges were burned. Perhaps she’ll be back in the future.”

Longtime judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba will all be back for season 25.

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Hear what Hough's brother, Derek, told ET about how his sister is adjusting to married life in the video below. 

Reporting by Darla Murray.