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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 5

'Dancing with the Stars' a family affair for Julianne and Derek Hough

By Christopher Rocchio, 10/22/2007 

Marriann Nelson has a lot to cheer about when she watches Dancing with the Stars, as two of her children -- Julianne and Derek Hough -- both grace the stage as professional partners competing in the ABC reality series.

"This season I thought, 'I'll be calm,'" said Nelson in TV Guide's October 22 issue.  "But when they both came out --  my daughter on one side and my son on the other -- I just lost it."

Nelson is no stranger to rooting for Julianne, who captured Dancing with the Stars fourth-season mirror ball trophy in the spring with her celebrity partner, Olympic speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno

For Dancing with the Stars currently airing fifth season, Julianne is paired with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves while her younger brother Derek -- who is competing on the show for the first time -- is coupled with former Beverly Hills 90210 actress Jennie Garth.

Things got off to a bumpy start for Derek, as Garth slipped trying to slide between his legs during the couple's Week 2 quickstep routine.

"It's good when things like that happen sometimes just to remind people that this is real, this is live," Derek told TV Guide.

Derek took his lumps and remains in the competition, which Nelson said is a testament to the way he, Julianne and her other three children were raised.

"At one point, I thought we would be the blonde Osmonds," said Nelson, who added that all of her children were introduced to the world of performing arts at the age of 3.

Nelson said she and her husband Bruce Hough divorced when Julianne was 9-years-old, and while it was difficult for the Salt Lake City family, she added her children further immersed themselves in dance.

"I always wanted my kids to be independent and self-sufficient," added Nelson to TV Guide, "not afraid of the world."

Only a year after the divorce, Julianne and Derek moved to London to study with British dance teachers Corky and Shirley Ballas -- the parents of fellow Dancing with the Stars 5 professional Mark Ballas -- who is paired with Disney's The Cheetah Girls star Sabrina Bryan.

"Mark's parents are still really powerful in the competition world," Derek told TV Guide.  "We'd go to competitions -- Julianne with Mark and me with my partner -- and everyone would go, 'Oh man.  The brat pack has arrived.'"

Julianne, Derek and Mark were all youth world champions, according to TV Guide, and have now found a home to showcase their talents regularly as Dancing with the Stars professionals.

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