The book was originally meant to come out in May, but Derek ended up making it to second place with Amy Purdy on the spring Season 18 — as well as overseeing Macy’s Stars of Dance and rehearsing with Julianne — so the release was pushed to August 5, when he’ll presumably have a little bit more time to focus on it. Derek talked to Parade about what readers can expect from Taking the Lead.
“It’s got a lot of stories from coaching my partners on Dancing With the Stars and talks about a lot of things people don’t know about me — some tough times, some amazing times, some triumphant times,” Derek told Parade.
(He’s been on DWTS for 13 seasons, starting with Season 5 and only missing Season 12. He’s won the show a record five times and is so far the only pro to win an Emmy for choreography.)
"Basically there are stories and moments in my life that are like turning points for me and that I learned a lot from and I just wanted to share that with people,” Derek continued. “I’m excited to get it out there."
Fans already knew a little bit about Derek’s life, and he and Julianne were recently featured on the cover of People magazine, talking about their “crazy childhood.”
Here’s more of what the book will cover, from the Amazon description: “Now, for the first time ever, Derek opens up about his life and the lessons he’s learned on and off the dance floor, revealing how he went from bullied boy to ballroom boss. He details how his experiences have taught him to embrace a positive outlook, and shares the insights he’s gained working with celebrity partners, along with never-before-told, behind-the-scenes stories from the show. Throughout, Derek spills the real secrets of learning to dance—connection, respect, and cooperative commitment—and demonstrates how he draws on the lessons of dance and competition to embrace and overcome the daily challenges we all face.”
We’re excited for Derek to share his story, but what about DWTS Season 19? Will Derek return for the fall season, which is expected to premiere in mid-September? “I don’t know yet,” Derek told Parade. “There are a lot of changes happening right now. I’ll always be a part of Dancing With the Stars, they’re my family and I love working with them and being part of a show that is so positive. We got a new executive producer, so new things are happening and we’ll see what happens! I love being a part of it.”
Yep, DWTS has a new showrunner (a returning producer from past seasons) and Len Goodman has mentioned he might not return as head judge. So we too will have to see what happens with all of these changes.
Do you plan to pick up Derek’s book, when it comes out? Do you think he’ll end up returning to dance this fall?