By Annie Barrett
Updated August 03, 2020 at 06:15 PM EDT

Baby Derek is back, and he would like to give you a high five. HIGH FIVE HIM! Thanks to all of you who submitted questions for Dancing With the Stars‘ own Fantastic Mr. Fox last week. Below, Derek helps us rev up for Week 5 with an all-readers’ Q&A!

You are doing a fantastic job with Jennifer [Grey] this season. How do you balance pushing and challenging her around her injuries? She looks fantastic for her age, but she is 50, not 30. Do you worry about pushing her too much, especially when you guys hit two dances for one week? –Susan

I do worry about pushing Jen, but the really great thing is that she’s a wonderful communicator. She lets me know when she can’t do something or when it doesn’t feel right and then we just change it up a bit to make sure it works for her. It’s very easy to forget that someone with her flexibility and stamina is 50.

I love your choreography. And I love seeing Louis and Dmitry on So You Think You Can Dance. Will you ever choreograph for SYTYCD? –Jwill

I don’t know that choreographing for them is in my future; they’d have to ask me and DWTS would have to give me permissions. But never say never.

Is there any chance that between X Factor duties, Cheryl Cole would perform “Parachute” on DWTS as a guest vocalist and you could dance with her as you do in the video? –Kate

If Cheryl were to ever perform on the show, I’d love to be able to dance with her. As of yet, I haven’t heard any rumors of her being booked on DWTS, though.

Derek, why do we never see you in any of the pro dances on Tuesday nights? I know you can’t do them every week (though I’d LOVE it if you did), but it seems like it’s becoming increasingly rare. –Sarah

I do the pro numbers when I’m asked, I just performed with Carlos Santana a few weeks ago. And I have an idea for one this season. But as the season progresses, a lot of the time the show uses the pros that have been eliminated as it makes scheduling easier and our jobs easier as the competition gets more intense.

When will you get to show off your piano-playing skills? Also your painting skills. Maybe you can do a piano duel with another pro while painting? –Lauren

I feel fairly certain that my painting skills might not be best shown on Dancing with the Stars. I’ll have to come up with another way to showcase that side of me.

Is there a celebrity (whether or not they’d ever do the show) who would be your dream partner? –Orville

For me a dream partner is someone who is willing to learn and to put their trust in me. That being said, I think Sandra Bullock would do a great job. She seems to have the kind of fun-loving personality mixed with a strong work ethic that would enable her to do really well.

Derek, I saw you in Burn the Floor on Broadway and you were phenomenal. I also read the amazing reviews you got from starring in Footloose in London. Any plans to do more theatre in the future? –Sarah

I’d love to do more theatre and acting. I attended a performing arts high school in London and it would be great to be able to put all of that training to use again.

I second the above question, and what about films? –Jane

Films and television opportunities are definitely things I’m exploring.

It seems every season, you do a dance with a hat. Is this intentional? Is there a story behind it? –Linnea

I never noticed! Maybe now I’ll make sure that I use hats more often. It could be my signature.

Leave your questions for Baby Derek in the comments!

Read more:

Reader-submitted ‘DWTS’ ridiculata: Your Hidden Gems of the Week!

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

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Dancing With the Stars

  • TV Show
  • 28
  • ABC