Derek Hough’s wife, Hayley Erbert, undergoes brain surgery after dance performance

Derek Hough in a tuxedo and Hayley Erbert in a dress embrace and smile together while holding a gold statue Emmy award
“Dancing With the Stars” judge Derek Hough and wife Hayley Erbert have been on a dancing tour together since October.
(Dan Steinberg / Invision For The Television Academy)

Hayley Erbert, dancer and wife of “Dancing With the Stars” judge Derek Hough, underwent emergency brain surgery after a Tuesday performance just south of Washington D.C.

In a statement shared Thursday on Instagram, Hough said that after he and Erbert performed in Oxon Hill, Md., at the MGM National Harbor Hotel & Casino earlier this week, “Hayley became disoriented and was taken to the hospital.”

“She was diagnosed with a cranial hematoma from a burst blood vessel and required an emergency craniectomy. She is in stable condition,” Hough wrote, thanking first responders and medical personnel.

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The 29-year-old performer had been on the road with Hough since October for his Symphony of Dance Tour. She was a major part of the show, dancing with her husband throughout the performance. At Tuesday’s show, Hough shared their love story with the audience, including how they met on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” when Hough was a dancer paired with competing celebrities, and while Erbert was a troupe member. The pair began dating in 2015 and tied the knot in August.

However, during Tuesday’s final bow, Erbert was noticeably absent as Hough acknowledged each of the key performers. Then, the tour’s stop at the Sandler Center for Performing Arts in Virginia Beach, Va. on Thursday was canceled.


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At the Maryland show, Hough — who has had a tight schedule between the U.S. tour and his judging duties on ‘DWTS’ —told the audience that he had taken a red-eye flight from Los Angeles to D.C. earlier that morning. He had just filmed the live “DWTS” Season 32 finale and pre-recorded a Dick Van Dyke special,adding that he didn’t leave L.A. until after midnight.

Hough didn’t share any possible causes for Erbert’s hospitalization. It was unclear whether Erbert was with Hough during the tapings or on the flight.

According to Columbia Neurosurgery in New York, a cranial hematoma may occur after moderate or severe head injuries, such as during a car accident, bicycle accident or fall. Though symptoms often present immediately after the incident, in some cases, symptoms may take hours, days or weeks to appear.

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Last December, Erbert was injured in a car accident with Hough in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Erbert shared her account of the 2022 crash on Instagram, describing the involvement of “a steep hill, icy roads, a tree, and worst of all, the fear that we would slide off the mountain.” Her video and photos of the incident showed a Mercedes with a dented rear and shattered windows, a San Bernardino County firetruck and Erbert sitting in an emergency room with bruising and scrapes along one side of her face and forehead.

She said she “walked away a little banged up” with “a swollen face, and four stitches above my eyebrow.”

After Hough announced Erbert’s recent surgery, the dance community, along with a flood of “DWTS” dancers and celebrity contestants, poured out their support.

“Focusing all my positivity and well wishes directly toward Hayley,” wrote Season 32 champion, actor Xochitl Gomez, in a comment beneath Hough’s post. “She is a shining light.”

“I am so sorry.. sending so many prayers,” added JoJo “Gomez” Okimura, a dancer and choreographer who has worked with Beyoncé and Britney Spears.

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Jenna Johnson Chmerkovskiy, a finalist on “So You Think You Can Dance” and former “DWTS” champion paired with Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon, wrote, “Praying and sending all our love your way. We love you Hayley.”

Reality TV personality Ariana Madix of “Vanderpump Rules” fame and a Season 32 contestant added, “omg sending all my love to you and hayley and hoping for the speediest of recoveries.”

Other celebrities who left their well wishes included Heidi Klum, Nina Dobrev, Alyson Hannigan, and Charli D’Amelio.

Times deputy digital editor Dan Watson contributed to this report.