They are used to competing against each other on Dancing With the Stars, but when Thursday’s Emmy nominations were announced, Dancing with the Stars siblings Julianne and Derek Hough emerged as joint nominees for outstanding choreography.
“I can’t think of a better person to be nominated with,” Julianne tells PEOPLE from Idaho Falls, Idaho. On tour this summer — and appearing on select dates with country legend George Strait — Julianne, 20, says her only regret is not being able to celebrate the nomination in person with her brother Derek, 24.
“I texted him earlier today. My first time being nominated for an Emmy last year was surreal and awesome, but this time around is more special because Derek and I choreographed to fit our personalities and not the celebrities we dance with on the show,” Julianne explains.
The sibling duo is nominated for an exhibition dance they choreographed and performed on Dancing with the Stars last fall. The high-energy routine to Jerry Lee Lewis‘s “Great Balls of Fire” was performed one week after Julianne underwent surgery for endometriosis.
“Julianne and I have been dancing together for years and because she had surgery, we were not able to rehearse until the night before,” Derek says. “But with my family, when we do things, we do them all out. On the show she went full out and it was great.”
So You Think You Can Dance choreographers Tyce Diorio, Mia Michaels, Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo and Dmitry Chaplin are also nominated in the outstanding choreography category.
So how are the Houghs going to celebrate?
“We’ve got some cake left over from a family birthday celebration,” says Julianne, who turns 21 on July 20. “I may have to say something on stage to let know about my brother and me.”
As for Derek, he says he’s going to just chill on the California coast. “I’ve been wanting to go to the beach and I have a rare day off, so I think I’ll just go play in the water,” Derek says.
The Emmy will be handed out during the CBS broadcast on Sept. 20. — Monica Rizzo
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