Julianne Hough is an American dancer, actress and singer who first gained fame as a two-time professional champion on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. She has gone on to have a successful career in film, television and music. Here’s an in-depth look at what Julianne Hough has been up to recently.
Dancing has always been Julianne’s first love and passion. She started dancing competitively at age 9 and moved to London at 15 to hone her skills. She became known for her ballroom dancing and joined Dancing with the Stars in 2007 at age 18. She won season 4 with Olympic gold medalist Apolo Ohno and season 5 with IndyCar racer Helio Castroneves, becoming the show’s youngest professional dancer to win twice.
After leaving DWTS in 2009 to pursue other projects, Julianne returned as a permanent judge starting in 2014 for seasons 19-21. She took a break again but made special guest appearances in later seasons to judge and perform. In 2020, she returned to the show once again as a judge for season 29. Even as her career has expanded, Julianne remains closely tied to the show that made her famous and frequently returns to her dancing roots.
Move into Acting
Capitalizing on her popularity from Dancing with the Stars, Julianne began acting in film and television projects. Her first major role came in the 2011 remake of Footloose starring Kenny Wormald. The following year she appeared alongside Tom Cruise in the musical film Rock of Ages. Some of her other early acting credits include the movie Safe Haven (2013) and episodes of TV shows like CSI: NY and Girl vs. Monster.
In 2014, Julianne landed her first leading role as the title character in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages. She received positive reviews for her energetic performance and solid vocals. This kick-started a series of starring roles in major Hollywood films over the next few years:
- Paradise (2013) with Russell Brand
- Curve (2015) with Teddy Sears
- Dirty Grandpa (2016) with Robert De Niro and Zac Efron
- Bigger (2018) – a biopic about bodybuilders Joe & Ben Weider
Julianne held her own alongside big names like De Niro and demonstrated she could take on serious dramatic roles. She continues to act steadily, proving she is more than just a dancer turned actress.
In addition to dancing and acting, Julianne has tried her hand at a music career. She released a self-titled country music album in 2008 shortly after winning her second DWTS title. The album reached #1 on the Top Country Albums chart and #3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Her debut single “That Song in My Head” also topped the country music charts.
Julianne released two more albums – Sounds of the Season: The Julianne Hough Holiday Collection in 2009 and Wildfire in 2011. While her music stalled after that, she still occasionally releases singles and performs live. She sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl in 2022 showing she still has vocal chops.
Expanding beyond films, Julianne has been a fixture on television in recent years both behind and in front of the camera. Here are some of her biggest TV projects of late:
- America’s Got Talent – Judge from 2019-2020
- Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings – Starred in “Jolene” episode in 2019
- The Disney Family Singalong – Performed in multiple episodes in 2020
- The Activist – Hosted controversial reality show in 2021
- Dancing with Myself – Judge of NBC dance challenge series in 2022
Julianne also returned to her roots by producing and starring in a DWTS live stage tour from 2014-2020. And showing her entrepreneurial spirit, she created a lifestyle website called Jules in 2020 focused on health, wellness and beauty.
Julianne’s personal life has been just as busy as her professional endeavors. She has been in several high-profile relationships over the years:
- 2006-2013 – Dated DWTS dancer Derek Hough (Mark Ballas briefly in between)
- 2013-2015 – Dated radio DJ Ari Sandel
- 2015-2016 – Dated NHL player Brooks Laich
- 2016-2020 – Married Brooks Laich but divorced in May 2020
- 2020-Present – Engaged to NHL player Charlie White
Julianne and CharlieWhite got engaged in December 2020. The couple had known each other for years but reconnected during the pandemic and began dating. In addition to planning her wedding, Julianne stays busy with philanthropic work for causes like breast cancer research and animal rights.
So what are some of Julianne’s most recent projects and activities keeping her busy in 2022 and heading into 2023?
- Appeared as a guest judge on season 31 of Dancing with the Stars in Fall 2022
- Launched a YouTube video series called “Transformations” in January 2022
- Announced a new partnership with Beachbody on popular fitness programs
- Working on planning wedding to fiancé Charlie White
- Served as a judge on NBC’s Dancing with Myself premiering in May 2022
- Performed on Dancing with the Stars live tour in early 2022
- Appeared in ad campaigns for brands like MPG Sport and Rotate Birger Christensen
Between her judging gigs, brand partnerships, wedding planning, and philanthropic efforts, Julianne Hough’s schedule is fully booked. She continues to have a presence on both the big and small screen while also returning to her dancing roots. Even with all her success, she remains dedicated to giving back and inspiring others.
As she enters her mid 30s, Julianne Hough shows no signs of slowing down. She has seamlessly transitioned from dancer to triple threat entertainer over the past decade plus. Her star remains bright and her fanbase loyal as she continues growing as an actress, singer and media personality.
There are still more acting roles Julianne would like to take on, perhaps additional films based on musicals to showcase her talents. Of course, more dancing will likely always be in her future, whether on DWTS or other channels. She has come a long way from her early ballroom days and continues to evolve. Her upcoming wedding to Charlie White will be a joyous milestone both personally and professionally.
In 10 years, it’s quite possible Julianne could be the next Jennifer Lopez – excelling in multiple arenas of entertainment simultaneously while building her own brands through business ventures. The future is wide open thanks to her relentless work ethic and determination. One thing is for sure – Julianne Hough plans to keep achieving greatness doing what she loves.
Julianne Hough has seamlessly transitioned from her dancing roots to become a versatile triple threat performer. She found major fame on Dancing with the Stars which opened doors to acting, singing, producing and hosting. Her star continues to rise in Hollywood and she balances a busy career with philanthropy and a personal life. Even in her mid-30s, there is likely much more still to come from this talented entertainer for years to come.