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Derek Hough Movie Role

It seems Dancing with the Stars will be missing a key professional dancer when it returns in March.

Three time champion Derek Hough revealed on Monday that he will be absent from the show’s upcoming season. “I’m taking season 12 off,” Derek told PEOPLE.

The reason? Derek, 25, has snagged himself a leading role in the upcoming dance movie Cobu 3D. Derek is set to play a New Orleans street dancer who moves to New York and falls for an Asian drummer (played by Korean pop recording star BoA) in the movie which is scheduled to film in New York and Toronto this spring.

So does this mark the end of Derek on DWTS? That answer is no as he reveals his plans to return in the fall. “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,” said Derek. “It’s like I told one of the producers on the show – I’ll come back with a whole new set of skills.”

With Derek’s absence, the upcoming season will have a new pro dancing champ, as Derek has won the last two consecutive seasons with Nicole Scherzinger and Jennifer Grey.

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