Derek Hough rose to fame on the hit show “Dancing with the Stars,” winning the coveted mirror ball trophy more times than any other professional dancer.

In this episode of "LA Stories," host Giselle Fernandez revisits her conversation with Hough, who opens up about the lessons he learned from his experience on the show — both on and off the dance floor.

🎧 Hear the LA Stories: Unfiltered podcast version of this interview 

Listen at the top of this page or on your favorite podcast app:
Apple | Spotify | Google | Amazon

"Being on 'Dancing with the Stars' taught me how to release that perfectionism and realize that perfectionism doesn't really exist," said Hough. "It's the lowest standard you can have, actually, because it doesn't exist. So if you were seeking perfectionism, you're only going to live in disappointment."

Recalling his childhood, Hough shares horrific stories of being bullied as a young boy. He opened up about the experience in his book, "Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion," saying that neighborhood boys would hogtie him, hang him from a tree and even, on one occasion, hold a gun to his head.

The traumatic experience caused night terrors for years, and Hough never opened up about it as a child. Since then, he has learned from the experience, saying that he now has compassion for those neighborhood bullies.

"I think that somebody who has a lot of pain in their heart," he said. "It's usually those who need to inflict power over others. It’s weakness in disguise."

When he was 12, Hough’s parents sent him and his sister Julianne to London so they could train to become professional dancers. Eventually, both of them landed on "Dancing with the Stars," catapulting them into the spotlight.

Hough has now expanded his career with his "No Limits" Las Vegas residency show. He’ll also return to season 31 of "Dancing with the Stars" as a judge.

After everything he’s overcome, Hough says he’s finally found his happiness in life.

"It's a really profound place to be because it's sort of an endless tank of fuel that inspires you to continue to create and then, more importantly, to serve others. 'How can I serve this person? How can I elevate this person? How can I make this crowd feel something?' That fuel is endless."

Watch "LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez" at 9 p.m. every Monday on Spectrum News 1.