Prepping for a new season of DWTS, she gets cozy with country singer Chuck Wicks

By Eileen Finan
Updated August 20, 2008 12:45 PM
Credit: Kristin Barlowe; Kristin Callahan/Everett

Julianne Hough has two new men in her life.

The dancer-singer will soon be shimmying with a new celebrity partner on Dancing with the Stars – and she’s stepping out with country crooner Chuck Wicks.

With her hectic life, Hough told PEOPLE, “It’s very difficult to date – I just got kind of lucky!” Indeed, she got to know Wicks this summer when the two joined Brad Paisley on tour.

“He’s just a great guy! He’s awesome and really, really talented,” Hough says of the “Stealing Cinderella” singer. “I’m having a great time getting to know him.”

Hough, 20, whose debut country album, Julianne Hough, hit No. 1 on the country charts when it was released in May, says she and Wicks, 29, have been work-out buddies on the road.

“When we play amphitheaters, we’ll run up and down the stairs,” she says. “And all of us – all the bands – bought bikes and we go mountain biking and we’ll go to amusements parks and things like that.”

Wicks broke up with his long-term girlfriend earlier this year, before the start of the Paisley tour, and Hough ended her engagement to former dancer Zach Wilson last year.

With the start of DWTS – Hough went to L.A. Tuesday to meet her new partner – she had to bid goodbye to Wicks, who will remain on tour.

But she’s confident they can survive the distance. Says Hough: “That’s what’s cool about being with an independent person.”