In an exclusive and very interesting interview with 24 hours Toronto, Derek talks about everything; being bullied as a kid and how dancing helped him, DWTS, Gene Kelly, Marilu Henner and many more.
Below are some excerpts of the interview but be sure to read it all on 24 hours Toronto or by clicking on the picture below. You can also find the online edition of the newspaper here. Derek’s interview on page 13.
How are you going to juggle competing and rehearsing for a musical?
I’m a working guy. It’s all about compartmentalization. Whichever room I’m in, I focus on what I’m doing. When I change hats, I refocus on different things. I just need to take care of myself. Drinking lots of fluids, for example. […]
Where does the talent come from? Nature or nurture – or both?
If I’m completely transparent with you, it’s all YouTube! [Laughs] I had to teach myself many styles of dance in my apartment watching videos online. Gene Kelly is one of my biggest inspirations. I was wowed when he used props and utilized his surroundings. I love his stuff. Whenever I get blocked, I look at the old classics and they inspire me.[…]
How do you deal with being sex symbol?
I don’t see myself as that. I don’t know what to say. I’m super grateful to be able to showcase dance. I work with so many talented dancers who don’t have the same reach as me so I’m eternally grateful.