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Julianne Hough on Dogs, Dancing, and Distance

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Julianne Hough snuggles up with therapy dog Gizmo to promote the Hero Dog Awards. For every vote placed on herodogawards.org, …

Don't ask Julianne Hough to decide if she likes singing,dancing, or acting better, because she's not about to pick just one.

"I don't want to choose, I don't know why I wouldhave to choose. I love all three so much and each fulfills something sodifferent," she explains. "I guess I couldn't do one without theothers."

And she doesn't have to. The 22-year-old, who rose tofame as a pro dancer on "Dancing With the Stars" before leaving in2009 to shift more focus to her singing and acting career, will appear in theremake of the dance-heavy classic film "Footloose" this October andis currently shooting the movie version of the Broadway musical "Rock ofAges" with the likes of Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, and Paul Giamatti. WhileHough admits that being a part of such an all-star cast of veteran actors was alittle intimidating at first, it also inspired her. "It's a learningexperience to be with all these amazing actors and to be able to grow somuch," she shares. "I think everybody's quality of performance israised. I think everybody wants to do better when you're around so many greatpeople. It's really fantastic."

And to step up her game even further, the svelteRenaissance woman also increased her exercise regime. "I'm a very physicalperson and when I get ready for something, I like to just ramp it up whetherI'm dancing or not, just to feel like I'm starting something," Hough says."To have that extra kick of workouts, it just helps me get prepared."

Since Hough's been on location Miami for the last monthon set "Rock of Ages," that means her relationship with"American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, her boyfriend of more than ayear, has temporarily turned into a long-distance one. "It's tough, beinglong distance, but I think when it's as good as it is for us, you just make it work,"she says. "We both try to make an effort at seeing each other, so he'llcome here and I'll go there."

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"When it's as good as it is for us, you just make it work," says Hough of being across the country from boyfriend …

This week she took a quick break to fly to New York forsomething else very close to her heart ... dogs. Julianne paid a visit to the VAMedical Center in Manhattan to kick off a voting campaign for the AmericanHumane Association's Hero Dog Awards presented by Cesar Canine Cuisine. Theawards, to be given out this fall, are meant to recognize some amazing pooches-- from guide dogs to rescue dogs -- and raise money for the Humane Associationat the same time.

Hough, who's got two beloved Cavalier King Charles Spanielsat home, got to witness some of the canine heroism for herself at the hospital,where a gaggle of therapy dogs made the rounds with patients. "When I thinkabout what they're doing with the therapy dogs and them being there for theveterans and the patients at the hospital, I just think it's such a greatthing," Hough gushes. "I know first-hand, when I'm the most depressedor sad or happy, whatever, no matter my state, my dogs are always there tobring me joy and love."

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