The Rock of Ages star, who is currently dating radio personality Ryan Seacrest, rose to fame as a professional choreographer on the hit U.S. TV show, winning the mirror ball trophy twice in 2007.
But Hough, then an aspiring actress, confesses she almost never signed on to the series - because she worried fans wouldn't take her seriously after serving a stint on a reality show.
She tells Interview magazine, ""A lot of people don't know this, but when Dancing With the Stars first asked me to be on the show, I said no, because I wanted to act and to be taken seriously. And I thought that being on a reality show would hurt my credibility.""
But the 23 year old is glad she finally accepted the offer because the exposure has opened up a lot of doors.
She adds, ""What I've come to realise is that being on that show completely launched my career and gave me a family and a built-in audience. My biggest fear is that people think, 'Oh, just because she was on Dancing With the Stars, she thinks she can act now.' But I've been acting my whole life, which people don't realise. I just haven't had the opportunities that I've had with my dancing.""