The VIP Lounge | Derek Hough

The VIP Lounge with Derek Hough

Derek Hough wakeboarding on Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho.
Derek Hough wakeboarding on Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho.

Dancer, actor, and author Derek Hough, the only six-time champion in the history of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” just embarked on a 59-city tour that lands at the Boch Center Wang Theatre on April 23. He’s toured with his renowned dancer sister, Julianne Hough, but this is the first time he’s headlining his own tour, complete with what he called “an amazing lineup of musicians and dancers.” Hough, 33, who hails from Salt Lake City, said audiences can expect an eclectic mix of dance styles, including ballroom, hip-hop, and tap, as well as a variety of musical numbers. “It’s a very theatrical show with a lot of song — yes, I’ll be singing — and dance involved,” said Hough, who is in his third season as a judge (along with Jennifer Lopez and Ne-Yo) on “World of Dance.” We caught up with Hough, who lives in Los Angeles with his girlfriend, dancer Hayley Erbert, and their rescue pets — a dog, Romie, and a cat, Palo — to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination? [Lake] Coeur d’Alene [in Northern Idaho] because it’s where I grew up going every summer. It’s surrounded with nostalgia and beauty.

Favorite food or drink while vacationing? Popcorn, chips, and salsa — and whatever the unique local dishes are.


Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? I’ve been to Africa, but I want to go back because my girlfriend has never been and it’s always been a dream of hers to go. I would love to see the look on her face when she first sees all the animals.

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One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? Headphones. I either have Beats or Bose, depending on which one I lose. I like listening to podcasts, YouTube videos, things that inspire me. . . . My music tastes are so eclectic, and when I’m traveling, I like listening to instrumental music, which is almost like scoring my life while I’m walking through the airport, or in a brand new city that I’m getting to know. . . . I’m looking forward to walking around Boston and exploring for hours and hours.

Aisle or window? I’m easy — either way.

Favorite childhood travel memory? Either road trips with the family — playing games in the back seat with my four sisters and the anticipation of arriving at the beautiful lake — or a family vacation in Hawaii when I was 8 and learned how to fire dance and do the poi [flexibility] balls. It’s a very fond memory.

Guilty pleasure when traveling? Twizzlers [red], popcorn, M&M’s . . . any kind of movie theater candy. And sitcoms.


Best travel tip? Practice meditation, both to stay present and fully absorb the experience/adventure wherever you are — and in case you get the middle seat on a plane and the A/C breaks, which has happened to me many times. Meditation rescued me in those moments.