Q&A: Derek Hough talks 'Extreme Makeover'
Published Oct 13 2010, 21:39 BST | By Lara Martin Dancing With The Stars
fans can see a different side of Derek Hough
this week as he drops in on Sunday night's episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
. The professional dancer - who is currently dazzling the judges alongside Jennifer Grey - spent a week with the Arboleda family this summer (aided by some of his Dancing
co-stars) to help the team build their perfect home. He chatted about the upcoming episode earlier today...How did you get involved with the show?
"I was watching it a couple of months ago and have always been a fan. I'm one of those types of people who watch Discovery Channel and How It's Made
and all those sorts of shows; seeing how things work and how they are built. Also in this show the emotional side is so strong and I saw it and thought I'd love to be part of building something like that and seeing the construction, but also be there and help change a family's life and see their faces light up in person. I called someone from the network and said I'd love to be part of the show and luckily there was a family that was integral to what I do - dancing and choreographing and whatnot - so it all matched together perfectly. Two weeks later, before I know it, I'm out there putting a nail in a piece of wood. It was a lot of fun."We know you are great with the dancing; how well did you do with the power tools?!
"You know, I actually love doing handiwork; growing up I'd help out at the house with my dad and whatnot so I was just excited to be around the construction site and see a house being demolished and rebuilt into this beautiful home for this amazing family. I really enjoyed myself a lot but I can't say my dancing really helped! Although we did a fun '80s dance montage demolition day."Can you tell us more about the montage?
"It's pretty much not taking [ourselves] too seriously and having fun. We had Tony [Dovolani], Chelsie [Hightower], Anna [Trebunskaya] and Mark [Ballas] come out that day for the demolition and Rhex, the father of the family, created a dance called Move To The Groove which helps kids stay active. We wanted to do the demolition but have them do it in an exercise-like fashion. We got into our whole '80s gear and did this montage thing as we were working out and destroying the house. It was fun! We had a good time!"Did you find it an emotional experience?
"Absolutely. What made me want to do it in the first place was - like everybody else - watching it and obviously getting emotional and seeing how fantastic it is to see these amazing families that do so much for the community but don't really get anything back. To see their lives just change is phenomenal and obviously to see it and be a part of it in person, to be there for the whole process from when they first find out to when they see their brand new house and walk around it, it was a phenomenal experience."Can you tell us a bit about the family this week?
"It was kind of the perfect combination. Rhex, the father, is a musician and plays piano and wrote a song and created a programme for kids called Move To The Grove, to fight child obesity and to help them stay active. The whole family has the most amazing energy and were hilarious. They actually kind of reminded me of my own family growing up because we had a lot of energy and were dancing around and we were always performing. Each one had their own character and were all so individual; just brilliant kids, just beautiful. When you went to their house the energy of their family and the light that shone through them was not matched in their house. It was very dark and very small for seven people, so it was awesome to build a home that matched their energy."Have you been in touch with the family since the build?
"I haven't, unfortunately, but I definitely want to get them out here to come see the show. They all dance and sing and play music instruments and are a talented, fun family so I would love them to see the show firsthand and live; it would be exciting for them. Also, I'm always with the family because there is actually a funny thing in the house with me on it. It wasn't my idea but it's there needless to say!"Did any of the other dancers have trouble adapting to the construction work?!
"Luckily, all the rest of the dancers came when we were destroying the house which wasn't too hard! But in saying that, man, you see a sledgehammer and start knocking down the walls thinking, 'I got this!' but by the third one you are like, 'Man, I think I pulled something! This is a whole different ballgame!' But it was fun and we had a good time."Are the Dancing cast close to each other?
"We're pretty close. We've known each other many years before we did the show but we are all really good friends and hang out and know each other really well. I think it helps out with the show because I think you can feel the energy of us being friends and whatnot. We are competitive but it's more friendly competition."Having watched the show before, was being there like you expected it would be?
"It was amazing and I was really fortunate to be part of a build that was very successful and was ahead of schedule. Talking to the designers and all of them, they have been on hundreds of builds and a lot are different and each one is unique. They are about the community and how they come together and it was really special to be part of a build that was just so amazing and quick and well-organised and to see everybody come together so fast. It was a phenomenal experience and really just mind-blowing to see something so amazing happen so quick."Derek Hough can be seen on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition this Sunday at 8pm ET on ABC