Julianne Hough and Brother Derek on Tough Childhoods, Today's Success

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Julianne Hough and older brother Derek Hough spoke recently with PEOPLE magazine about their tough childhoods and how that time led them to where they are today. Dancing With the Stars was essentially the catalyst that moved the brother and sister pair from simply being professional dancers to becoming household names. Derek was this season's champion. Julianne has gone on to add 'actress' to her impressive resume as well. It all started, however, when they were just young kids.

It was back when Derek and Julianne Hough were only 13 and 10, respectively, that their parents sent them from their sheltered home life in Utah to London where they would study at the prestigious London dance school Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. They lived with family friends Shirley and Corky Ballas, whose son Mark Ballas is one of the current DWTS pros.

Julianne recalled leaving the house early in the morning to catch a London train.

“I remember one of my first days there I got off at the wrong train station,” she said. “I was just standing there thinking, ‘Where am I?’”

She was taken advantage of as a young girl in a sensual world--most likely because her parents weren't nearby keep a watch over her.

“I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer,” she said during a recent interview with Cosmopolitan. “I was a tormented little kid who had to put on this sexy facade because that was my job and my life. But my heart was the same, and I was this innocent little girl.”

Both Derek and Julianne Hough acknowledge that they made lots of sacrifices--ultimately their childhoods--but that without those sacrifices they wouldn't be where they are today. The dancing duo is presently on tour with their own show called 'Move,' in venues across the U.S. Julianne posted photos from a rehearsal for their Connecticut show on Instagram.

“People will say, ‘How could your parents let you go off to do that?’” Derek said. “I think it’s great that they saw an amazing opportunity. That is the reason we are here today.”

Do you suppose that's how Julianne and Derek Hough really feel or might they harbor resentment they're reluctant to share because of how it might mar their professional personas? Will giving up their childhoods and being separated from their family at such a young age one day come back to haunt the brother and sister?

Image via Instagram

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.