Commentary by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb 

From Derek Hough, Twitter.

From Derek Hough, Twitter.

If all women aren’t just a little bit in love with Derek Hough, they should be.

Depth, substance, character, talent – and oh yes – good looks. The 29-year-old Hough’s star has been rising ever since he burst onto the scene with ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” dance competition. Mesmerizing describes the dancing talent he displayed on the show and as time went on it became apparent his skills as a choreographer were consistently unmatched. In 2013 he won a Primetime Emmy for choreography and is an overall five-time winner of  the DWTS mirrorball trophy.

“You have redefined choreography for your generation, ” a guest judge on DWTS recently told Hough.

No matter who he has been paired with, Hough has given his all.

However, nothing can compare to this season’s pairing of Hough with snowboarding paralympian Amy Purdy, whose legs were amputated below the knee and she lost kidney function after at age 19 she contracted bacterial meningitis. I previously wrote on newsandviewsjb about the tremendous courage Purdy, now 34, has shown in taking on the DWTS challenge.

Hough and Purdy came up just shy of bringing home the mirrorball trophy last night, first runner ups. It was won by the team of Maks Chmerkovskiy and Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis (Davis, by the way, was part of a team that won an Olympic gold medal skating to a routine choreographed by Hough). Congratulations to Chmerkovskiy and Davis – their freestyle performance was breathtaking.

That said, Hough and Purdy were beyond memorable. During an interview for the show Purdy said her journey on DWTS taught her a story can be told through dance. One of her performances was a ‘thank you’ to her father who donated one of his kidneys to her.

From Team Purdy-Hough, Twitter.

From Team Purdy-Hough, Twitter.

“He gave me life twice,” she said.

For one evening earlier this season, the teams had to switch partners. Purdy was paired with Hough’s good friend Mark Ballas and the routine went well. Later Purdy acknowledged she had trepidations about the switch because her prosthetics meant she was sometimes unsteady, but had no fear when dancing with Hough because she knew she could depend on him.

Hough also made clear his distaste for having on the show a guest judge whom he has criticized for what he has characterized as a bullying and intimidation approach to teaching young dancers.

Paraphrasing Hough, “You can teach with love.”

Back to those first three adjectives. Depth, substance and character.

In addition to being a professional dancer, Hough is in a band and acts. He had been considering not returning to DWTS for this season but decided to stay to partner with Purdy.

This morning he tweeted  – “Sooo proud of this extraordinary woman. And incredibly happy and proud of Meryl and Maks.”

A class act.

Once again – if all women, of all ages, aren’t just a little bit in love with Derek Hough –  they should be.