Derek Hough Holds Hayley Erbert's Ear as They Pose in a Sweet Pic before Their DWTS Performance

For this week’s episode of “Dancing with the Stars,” former professional dancer and judge Derek Hough got to perform onstage for the first time in years and he chose to do his performance with the help of his girlfriend.

Monday’s episode of “Dancing with the Stars (DWTS)” saw the celebrity contestants and their professional dancing partners compete for the MirrorBall Award. However, fans and viewers were also in for a treat when one of the show’s former professional dancers performed too.

The ABC dance competition’s Derek Hough, 35, took to the stage to perform a stunning routine. He danced the Paso Doble to Taalbi Brothers' song "Uccen" while partnered with his girlfriend Hayley Erbert, 26.

Derek Hough visits Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" at Universal Studios Hollywood on February 04, 2020, in Universal City, California | Photo: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Derek Hough visits Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" at Universal Studios Hollywood on February 04, 2020, in Universal City, California | Photo: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

DEREK RETURNS TO THE STAGE

This marked the professional dancer’s return on the show after being away from the series' stage since 2017. The star left DWTS in 2016’s season 23 after he came in sixth place with his celebrity partner, Marilu Henner.

Seeking something more to celebrate, some of his fans started speculating about Hough and Erbert’s appearance.

The dancer returned to the series’ season 29 as a judge alongside Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tolioni. Len Goodman couldn’t reprise his role due to novel coronavirus pandemic travel restrictions that prevented him from traveling from the UK to the US.

HOUGH’S FUNNY PIC CAPTION

Ahead of Hough’s performance with his girlfriend, that he’s been dating for around five years, the star shared a photo with a funny caption. In the image, the dancer and the former troupe member were photographed in a black-and-white picture.

The pair struck a stunning pose as they looked to the right while embracing. The couple was photographed while dressed in the costumes that they wore for their incredible and moving ballroom performance.

TAKING TO THE STAGE

In the caption of Hough’s post, he revealed that he would be taking the DWTS stage for the first time in more than three years. He also revealed that he wouldn’t have wanted to dance with anyone else except Erbert before jokingly noting his stance in the photo:  

“Also, why am I holding her ear?”

ANNOUNCING HIS PERFORMANCE

Earlier in the month, the professional dancer announced to his fans that he'd be performing on the series with his girlfriend. Probably seeking something more to celebrate, some of his fans started speculating about the appearance.

The star’s fans questioned if their appearance together would include a proposal from Hough. In 2016, Sasha Farber proposed to Emma Slater so the expectation wasn’t far-fetched but Hough refuted the claims and said it just wasn’t his style.

THE PRACTICE RUN

By September 2020, Hough and Erbert had already started practicing their dance routine for their rare performance. Ahead of the appearance, the dancer revealed that he was excited to dance with his partner.

He also shared how they’d woken up sore from their practice after a small session. At the time of the training, the couple only had three more weeks to smooth out their eye-capturing dance moves.

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