"To be able to start the new year with this performance after taking a break from music for the past 10 years felt like a dream," Julianne Hough wrote

By Jen Juneau
January 01, 2020 09:45 AM
Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.

Julianne Hough is ready for all the new beginnings 2020 brings.

The actress, singer and dancer, 31, co-hosted NBC’s New Year’s Eve event alongside Carson Daly and performed in New York City’s Times Square on Tuesday night to ring in the start of the new decade.

Following her performance, Hough shared a photo of herself and her backup dancers embracing on stage, wearing identical gold rhinestone-covered get-ups, and wrote a lengthy caption about how much the moment meant to her after having stepped away from music for a decade until recently.

“Ending the year and the decade with these powerful feminine forces!! These women truly embody transformation. Not by changing themselves, but by bringing in their entire being, everything they are and what it means to be a woman today. It just feels right to be starting the new year with these women by my side,” Hough began, tagging many “who [work] behind the scenes to bring this magic to life” and writing, “Feeling extra grateful for my team.”

Ali Buck

She also chalked up the surprise weather to fate, saying, “It’s no accident that there wasn’t a drop of rain the entire day until the moment of our performance, and it stopped right as we finished. A sign from the universe that the elements are with us. … I literally felt the old being released and an allowance of space for the new year to begin.”

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Hough continued, “To be able to start the new year with this performance after taking a break from music for the past 10 years felt like a dream come true. I feel grateful. I feel alive. I feel open and READY for all that 2020 has in store. Bring it on.”

Aside from Hough serving as co-host for Daly, 46, on Tuesday night, Stephen “tWitch” Boss acted as correspondent, with both breaking it down during a “dances of the decade” segment as the clock ticked toward midnight.

Other artists including X Ambassadors, Brett Eldredge, NE-YO, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and The Struts also took the stage for performances, while Keith Urban called in live from the Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight: New Year’s Eve in Nashville, Tennessee, with a special performance.

Hough was accompanied backstage by husband Brooks Laich, who joined his wife at her daytime rehearsal and cheered her on via his Instagram Stories.

Julianne Hough

RELATED VIDEO: Julianne Hough Says Her “Brain Felt Like Scrambled Eggs” After Dance Move on NBC Special

While Hough has been largely off the singing radar since her 2008 self-titled album and holiday EP, releasing her last single in 2010, she has starred in music-focused movies like Burlesque, Footloose (2011) and Rock of Ages.

She also played Sandy in 2016’s Grease: Live — and this past November, teamed up with her costar (and fellow Dancing with the Stars alum), Jordan Fisher, for a holiday track titled,

Ahead of her recent departure from America’s Got Talent, Hough debuted her first new song in nearly a decade with a high-energy performance during the show’s season 14 finale in September. The debut of the single, titled “Transform,” was accompanied by a dance performance from season 14 finalist V. Unbeatable.

“I couldn’t imagine a better stage,” the star told reporters ahead of the AGT finale. “This is where people’s lives begin, and I feel like I’m just getting started with my music again.”