Derek Hough Dedicates Emmy Win to Wife Hayley Amid Recovery

Derek Hough / Facebook

Derek Hough was honored with an Emmy for Outstanding Choreography. 

Professional dancer and choreographer Derek Hough had a big win Sunday night (Jan 7) when he took home the Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography. Hough earned the nomination for choreographing Michael Bublé’s “Higher” which was featured on Dancing with the Stars

This nod marks Derek Hough’s 13th Emmy nomination and he now holds the title for the most Emmy nominations for choreography. He surpassed Debbie Allen with 12 nominations. When the nominations were initially announced last year, Hough told Deadline:

“I’m so grateful for the platform and opportunity that Dancing with the Stars has given me and for the collaboration with so many people over the years to be able to experiment, learn and create choreography for a worldwide audience. To be recognized by fellow choreographers that I’ve come to know and love and that have influenced me is an incredible honor that I don’t take for granted.” 

Derek Hough gets emotional when dedicating the award to his wife Hayley.   

As Derek Hough was accepting the fourth Emmy award of his career, he became emotional remembering his wife Hayley’s recent health scare. He reflected: 

“Exactly a month ago I was in the hospital… A life-changing moment reminded me to really savor every moment.” 

Hayley was a featured dancer in the “Higher” performance. He choked back tears as he dedicated the award to Hayley: 

“To my beautiful wife. Your strength and your courage this whole month has been unbelievable.You inspire me every day.”

Rodin Eckenroth / Stringer / Getty Images

Hayley Erbert underwent emergency brain surgery in December.  

Hayley Erbert and Derek Hough were performing in Washington, D.C. on their Symphony of Dance Tour on December 6th when Hayley “became disoriented and was taken to the hospital.”

Derek shared the following day that Hayley “was diagnosed with a cranial hematoma from a burst blood vessel. She underwent an emergency craniectomy.” 

On December 15th, Derek shared an update on Hayley’s recovery: 

“As you all know, the past week has been a challenging journey for us due to a life-threatening event that suddenly came into our lives. It was a time filled with uncertainty and fear, going from living our dreams onstage, to a nightmare in an instant. But today, we are filled with hope and relief as we share with you an update. 

Her recovery process has been nothing short of a miracle. She still has a ways to go with another surgery, hopefully in a few weeks, to insert a skull implant to replace the piece that was removed during the craniectomy. It will restore the skull to its natural shape and protect the brain from injury.”

Derek Hough expressed his gratitude on social media. 

After the Emmy win, Derek posted a series of photos to special media echoing his dedication to his wife and expressing his gratitude to his fellow nominees, network partners, Michael Bublé, and more. 


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A post shared by Derek Hough (@derekhough)

Watch “Higher” which won Derek Hough an Emmy for Outstanding Choreography below!