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OTRC: Derek Hough leaves 'Dancing With the Stars'

Derek Hough in a promotional photo for season 11 of ABC's 'Dancing With the Stars.' (ABC/BOB D'AMICO)

Derek Hough, a professional dancer on "Dancing With the Stars," has announced that he won't be returning to the hit ABC dance reality show when it returns in March.

"I'm taking season 12 off," Hough told People magazine. "I will be making it back to Dancing with the Stars in the fall. I'm just taking a little break and taking this chance to grow and expand a little bit as an artist."

Hough will be taking this season off to star in the upcoming dance movie, "Cobu 3D," which is being produced by Lionsgate and CJ Entertainment and will film in New York and Toronto this spring.

In "Cobu 3D," Hough will play a street dancer from New Orleans who moves to New York and falls in love with an Asian drummer, who will be played by Korean pop star BoA. The drummer and Hough's character will come from rival dance groups and it will reportedly be a modern take on "Romeo and Juliet."

"We wish Derek the best as he takes time off from Dancing with the Stars to pursue his film career and look forward to having him return to the show in the Fall," "Dancing With the Stars"' executive producer Conrad Green said in a statement to KABC.

Hough has won three seasons of "Dancing With the Stars," including the 11th season with actress Jennifer Grey and the 10th season of with partner Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls. He also won the seventh season with Brooke Burke, who is now a co-host of the series along with Tom Bergeron.

When Hough and Grey earned perfect scores for their cha cha and waltz last November, Grey told OnTheRedCarpet.com that Hough had cried 'like a baby.'

"He was crying like a baby but I got him to pull it together," Grey told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "I said, 'Pull it together, Derek, it's just a dance show.'"

Hough's representative confirmed to OnTheRedCarpet.com that Hough would be starring as the male lead in "Cobu 3D" but will return in the fall for season 13 of "Dancing With the Stars."

"Dancing With the Stars" returns to ABC in March.

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