She was nominated for a Creative Arts Primetime Emmy in 2007 for Outstanding Choreography in season five of the show.

Her first leading acting role was in the 2011 film remake of Footloose.

Hough's first country music single "Will You Dance With Me" was released to i Tunes and Wal-Mart in May 2007 to raise money for the American Red Cross. Her self-titled debut album was recorded in Nashville and produced by David Malloy, who has worked with Reba Mc Entire, Eddie Rabbitt, among others.

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The event started off in Sherman Oaks with a workout session at Pulse Fitness Studios led by celebrity personal trainer and owner, Mark Harari.

The participants then took part in a two-mile run along Ventura Blvd, before finishing off with a dance-fitness class at Just Dance Los Angeles. She later signed with Universal Music Group Nashville's Mercury Nashville division.

She returned again on May 15, 2012 in a dance performance to promote her film Rock of Ages.

On October 7, 2013, she was guest judge in place of Len Goodman, which was the first time a former pro dancer came back to judge.

On November 20, 2008, Hough told Ryan Seacrest on his radio show she would not be returning to Dancing with the Stars, for the foreseeable future, in order to further her music career.

On October 11, 2011, Hough returned to Dancing with the Stars and danced with her Footloose co-star Kenny Wormald twice, as well as her brother.

In July 2008, Hough was nominated at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards in the category of "Outstanding Choreography" for her Mambo "Para Los Rumberos" (performed with partner Hélio Castroneves) on Dancing with the Stars.

On August 25, 2008, the cast of season seven was announced, and Hough was partnered with Hannah Montana actor Cody Linley.

In 2016, she played Sandy in the live Fox television production of Grease. Hough was one of the Million Dollar Dancers in the 2006 ABC game show called Show Me the Money. On November 27, 2007, Hough and her partner, three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Hélio Castroneves, became the winners of season five.