Who is that on the back of your phone case? Who is that person you met with so many followers? Who is that person you are always retweeting? That and other questions are some of the most common I hear. That person, is not just a person, he is the best, most amazing dancer and person that I have had the luck of meeting not one, not two, but FIVE times! His name is Derek Hough, and yes, I am obsessed with him. And no, I really don’t care what you are going to think about that.
I remember the first time I ever saw Derek Hough dance. I was in 11th grade and I went home sick. It was September. I was laying in my bed, bored, with nothing to do. I said “Elizabeth, maybe you should start a new show.” So, Dancing With the Stars it was. He was partnered with Amber Riley that season and they won. What I liked at first glance was that he was really good looking, especially without a shirt on. But, then, I started to notice how nice he was, and how amazing his dances were, and how much he cared about everyone he came into contact with. I started following him and started to become one of his biggest fans! I would get so excited for Monday’s so I could see another one of his masterpieces!
Skip to the next March when he and his sister Julianne announced that they were going on a tour, “Move Live on Tour.” They weren’t coming to Boston, but they were coming to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut on June 22nd, 2014 which was the Sunday before my last day of school, so Mom and I went! We had terrible seats, but it didn’t matter. Just being in the same room as him, and seeing him dance in real life, as opposed to all the times I had watched and re watched every dance he ever choreographed. It was a magical night, and I still think about it to this day, and how lucky I was to get to experience it.
Later that July, he tweeted out that he was going on a book tour to publicize his new book that he wrote, and one of his stops on the tour is Mohegan Sun again! This time, I was determined to meet him. August 8th 2014 – we got there two hours early, waited in line, and finally when it got to be time for my turn I was shaking. There was just so much I wanted to tell him, and thank him for, but not enough time. There is still so much I want to tell him, but it’s weird to thank someone who doesn’t know me for teaching me to always think on the bright side, and to always try your absolute hardest at everything. It’s just weird. So I just acted as normal as possible and tried to just enjoy the moment, which is the number one thing I learned from him! Along with always being passionate about whatever it is that I love.
My senior year of high school I met him again. That year he announced that he was going to be the star of a new show at Radio City Music Hall called the Spring Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes! That year was my senior year, and the year I turned 18. My parents are amazing! Just thought I should throw that in there! So, we took a quick trip to NYC to see the show! We were in the second row, and we left about 4 minutes early to go to the stage door! Thank God we did because I got in the front row, and he didn’t have enough time to get to everyone, but he had enough time to get to me, so YAY!! This was probably my least favorite of the meetings, because it was so rushed, but I understand why it had to be, it was on the sidewalk in NYC, and he had to move it along!
That July, I went to his and Julianne’s second Move Live on Tour, and this one they came to Boston! I guess they finally figured out that they had a lot of fans in Boston and it was worth it to come! I went with my friend Emma to that one, and we waited at the stage door after the show was over, and this time I met Julianne for the first time! Derek came out that night, but we had to leave because it was getting close to 11:30, sadly. I wish we could have stayed longer, but that’s alright.
My freshman year of college was void of Derek, sadly. He was on Dancing With the Stars and of course I watched, but I didn’t have any fun adventures related to him. Freshman year of college was hard, and Derek wasn’t around much to make it better.
Cut to sophomore year, and that is when things really got exciting! So, Julianne and Derek announced that they were going on Move Live on Tour Part 3 in December, and luckily, I didn’t have school that day. So, I was on my laptop ready and determined to get VIP tickets. I know that they were 500 dollars, but I just wanted to go to the meet and greet and go to the Q and A and I just wanted that experience. I wanted the full, magical night that is the Hough siblings.
That May 5th was the tour at the Wang Theater in Boston, and my mother and father and I had tickets for the second row. The first row was 1,000 dollars, so we went with the second row.
But, earlier in the tour, Derek posted on his Instagram Story that he was going to have a free day near the Boston tour. Of course, as a loyal devoted fan that I am, I watch every one, and try to remember what he says, in case it comes in handy later. Which it did. I was in the library on May 4th at my college in Boston, and Derek started posting that he was in the Public Garden. If you really want to hear how this story goes down, I encourage you to reach out to me, because it was one of the top 3 days of my life. But, long story short, after 3 hours, I found him outside of the Aquarium and we talked and took a picture, it was just surreal.
The next day was May 5th, which was the day of the tour, and so I waited all day and then when it came time for my picture, he remembered me! I was so excited that he remembered me from the day before and we did a really hilarious picture! (See below) I’m not sure why my mother got cut off when I was inserting this, but she was there.
That night was amazing. The passion, the pure talent, and the fun that they have on stage is just so irreplaceable and I hope someday to be able to inspire people to just have fun, and to smile, and to be the best at whatever it is that they do, because life is just really not that long. I wish I could have more experiences with Derek, like maybe dance with him, or just tell him all that he means to me. I know that him and I will never be friends, or we will never be dating, but I will be forever indebted to him for everything that he has taught me, and all that he has helped me to do, and in all the days of my life when I needed him, he was there. I know we will see each other again! Thank you Derek. Just, Thank you.