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NEW YORK (AP) — Julianne Hough is defined as much by her sunny disposition as she is her fancy footwork. The actress-dancer’s megawatt smile and cheerful persona has made her Hollywood’s girl-next-door.

But Hough credits her painful times in her teens, when she endured bullying, for giving her a positive perspective.

“The only way to fix bullying … is to do something about it and that’s to be kind and to give joy to people and give love to people,” said the 27-year-old Hough. “I want to make sure that other girls know that there’s so much out there and that all you have to do is be you and be true to yourself and it will eventually get better, I promise.”

If Hough’s life is any example, it gets more than better. The former “Dancing with the Stars” entertainer starred in the top-rated “Grease Live!” TV adaption of the famous movie earlier this year, and she is due to be married to Brooks Laich. She also has her own lifestyle blog, and the fitness-focused star recently became a rep for the fitness tracker FitBit.

“It’s superfun, especially when you have your friends or your trainer or whatever and they have Fitbits and you can kind of like compare and contrast and all that,” she said.

Hough spoke about keeping in shape and having a positive vibe, in a recent interview.

Associated Press: You’re obviously in shape, but have you ever gone through times where you felt like you weren’t?

Hough: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Probably 18 to 20 I was still pretty active in dancing and then I stopped dancing because I wasn’t on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ anymore and I was kind of turning into a woman at that point, too, so my whole body changed and I was like, ‘Wait, I have to work out and I have to eat healthy and I need to go to sleep early,’ and all those things. So there definitely was a point in my life when that happened. But I think more now as I’ve gotten older, it’s a little bit more balanced.

AP: You have a lifestyle website. Is that a good outlet to communicate with your fans?

Hough: Honestly having my blog has been one of the most fun things I’ve done and just has made me feel really connected to my fans and what they respond to, what I respond to, what we respond to as a collective group, and it just makes us feel like we’re really connected and when they send in their ‘Ask Jules,’ I have an ‘Ask Jules’ portion, or the challenges that I do, those are my favorite parts because I get to see a little bit more of who they are rather than me just giving advice. I get to see, ‘OK, what do they want to know? What are their challenges that they’re going through right now?’ And by kind of answering and giving advice with them I’m kind of learning as I go as well. So, it’s a cool thing. I love it.

AP: Often people tune into live adaptions like “Grease Live” and go on social media so they can post negative things, but largely that night everyone was so excited and so into it and saying such positive things. Were you able to soak that in?

Hough: I was prepared for some negative backlash or haters on Twitter or whatever but to be honest everybody loved ‘Grease,’ and I felt so much support and not just of me but the entire production, the show itself, the other cast members. Everybody really embraced it and really loved the show. It was something very special to be a part of. It’s not often you get to be a part of a show or a cast or a production like that where it’s just beloved before you do it, and then you do it and that’s a hard thing to do, to fill those shoes and then it’s beloved again. It’s pretty awesome. I’m now Sandy when I walk down the street and I have this younger fan base now. These young girls come up to me on the street and are like, ‘You’re Sandy,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, my gosh!’ That was my dream when I was little.