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Julianne Hough Born July 31, 1988
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Hough is one of five children from a LDS (Mormon) family in Salt Lake City. All four of her grandparents were dancers, and her parents met while on a ballroom dancing team at a college in Idaho. Her uncle, Charlie Hough, was known for his "dancing knuckleball" during his career as a Major League Baseball pitcher (1989 Texas Rangers media guide.) Though she has danced since the age of three, she never partnered in competition with her brother Derek, who is three years older than she. The siblings did dance together for exhibition on DWTS and the DWTS tour. Her formal training began at the Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Orem, Utah, where she danced with Josh Murillo, among others, in Latin Ballroom; she began dancing competitively at nine. Her parents sent her and her brother to London a year later to spare them the strife of divorce and to live and study with their coaches, the world Latin Dance Champions Corky and Shirley Ballas. The Ballases helped raise the two Hough children alongside their own son, Mark, while schooling them at the Italia Contie Performing Arts School. They received training in virtually every form of dance, from gymnastics to jazz, and ballet to tap. That threesome formed its own pop music trio 2B1G ("2 Boys, 1 Girl") when she was twelve, performed at Dance Competitions in the U.K. and the U.S., and showcased a UK television show.
Hough's education in London with the Ballas family included training in song, dance, and theatre at Britain's oldest performing arts training school, the Italia Conti Academy. At fifteen, Julianne Hough became the youngest dancer, and only American, to win both the prestigious titles of Junior Blackpool World Latin Champion and International Latin Youth Champion.
After five years in London, Hough wanted a "normal" school experience, and returned to Utah to live with her family, but not before taking a year to live in Las Vegas and go to the performing arts high school, Las Vegas Academy. After graduating from Alta High, she moved on her own to Los Angeles to build her singing, songwriting, acting and dancing career. She was an assistant choreographer on Gwen Stefani's "Wind It Up" music video.
Hough began working almost immediately upon arriving in Los Angeles. She was featured in two television commercials and was a "dancing" extra in an episode of "Cold Case". She was one of the "Million Dollar Dancers" in the short lived network television game show Show Me the Money starring William Shatner.
Hough appeared in the fourth season of Dancing with the Stars, a televised ballroom dance competition. In her first season, she won with her partner, Olympic gold medal-winning speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, making Hough the youngest professional dancer both to compete, and to win, on the program. She is also the third professional, after Alec Mazo and Cheryl Burke, to win a Dancing with the Stars championship in one's first season with the show. On November 27, 2007, Hough and her partner, two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Hélio Castroneves, became the winners of Season 5. She is the second professional dancer to win two consecutive seasons of Dancing with the Stars. Hough is back for season 6 with actor/comedian Adam Carolla.
She has also made guest appearances on other shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live, The View, Ellen, and "Good Morning America". She participated in the taping of the 2007 Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade inside the Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Hough released her first country music single "Will You Dance With Me" to iTunes and Wal-Mart in May 2007. The song peaked at #100 on the Billboard Pop 100 chart.The album was produced by Nashville producer David Malloy, who has worked with Reba McEntire, Eddie Rabbitt, and others. Hough is in the process of recording her first country music album, due for release on May 20, 2008, having signed with Mercury Nashville Records. Hough's second single, "That Song in My Head" debuted on the Billboard Country Chart the week of March 2, 2008 at #51 and is currently active as a single there.
Hough will tour with Brad Paisley this summer on "Paisley's 2008 Tour", along with Jewel and Chuck Wicks.
Hough was engaged to Zack Wilson, who is a member of the champion team on Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann, and originally planned to marry on August 8, 2007 in an LDS (Mormon) temple, but has postponed her marriage. She has dodged rumors that she was romantically linked with Apolo Anton Ohno. Hough also denied rumors she is dating her Season 5 DWTS partner, Helio Castroneves.
She has also been romantically linked with Kevin Connolly of Entourage fame, who recently gave her a diamond ring and admitted that he is "actively pursuing" Hough, although Hough denies a romantic relationship.
In an interview with CosmoGirl magazine, she shared her views about chastity and abstinence from sex until marriage.
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