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Derek Hough is leaving DWTS, but will he be back?

A celebrity gossip junky, Caroline Goddard has been writing entertainment news for longer than the world has known Kim Kardashian's name. Follow her on Twitter at @GoddardCaroline.

Dancing with the Stars loses another dancer

Yet another big name is leaving Dancing with the Stars — but when you read between the lines of what Derek Hough says, it might not be goodbye, just "see you later."

Hough confirmed he's leaving the ABC dance floor behind him — but his incredible new gig does not necessarily preclude him from coming back for another shot at the mirror ball.

"I am ecstatic that I'll able to extend my passion for performing to the Great Stage of Radio City Music Hall in New York Spring Spectacular," Derek said in a statement. "Performing at Radio City Music Hall in a show that celebrates everything that is beloved about New York City is a dream."

More: Interview: DWTS' Derek Hough, Mark Ballas and Amy Purdy reveal exciting future plans

Say what now?

New York Spring Spectacular is a seven-week engagement produced by the legendary Harvey Weinstein, beginning March 7. Starring opposite Laura Benanti of Nashville, according to Deadline, "Hough will play a man promised an eternal reward if he’s able to help a New York City tour guide whose job is threatened when Benanti's character reveals her plan to take the tour company virtual." Unfortunately, that interferes with Season 20 of DWTS.

More: Derek Hough was caught making out with this blonde bombshell

His absence leave a growing hole in the cast. Cheryl Burke previously announced she would not be returning to the show this season, and judge Len Goodman previously announced that this season would be his last.

Hough is the winningest dancer on the show, holding a record five mirror balls and a 2013 Emmy. His announcement definitely leaves the door open for a return in later seasons, though, so fans should not despair just yet.

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