SPEND FIVE MINUTES talking to Mr Motivator (or Derrick Evans to his family) and you’ll immediately want to get up and dance.
The king of feelgood physical fitness was all over our screens in the 90s, but he told TheJournal.ie that he hasn’t stopped in his mission to get the world moving.
Now comes the news that he will appear at Electric Picnic this month to get everyone dancing – and generating electricity at the same time.
He has teamed up with Electric Ireland to host Dancergy, a dance-themed activity that will take place on a sustainable energy dance floor at the festival. As people dance, they will help to generate electricity.
“I’ve always for years been singing from the same hymnsheet,” Evans told TheJournal.ie. “That any activity that you can do that can get you warm and gets you moving has got to be good for you.”
According to Evans, the idea of generating electricity through dance is a pretty special one.
It’s a shame the technology wasn’t there 30 years ago – imagine the amount of energy I could have generated!
Evans, who is well known for his brightly-coloured neon spandex outfits, started doing the festival circuit two years ago. At 60 years of age, and based in Jamaica, he’s certainly not looking to retire any time soon.
He’s even hired on a regular basis to pep people up during business conferences, appearing right after lunchtime to spring them out of a food-induced slumber.
Seeing as he will be dancing here in Ireland, will he be trying his hand at Irish dancing? He laughs at the suggestion – but doesn’t scoff at it.
My rhythm and my body moves a bit differently. I can’t jig the way you guys jig, right… I have to do a Jamaican jig! Who knows – I may try it. I’m gonna go online and look up some of the moves you guys do and see if I can incorporate them.
“I have only one motivation - we are gonna have fun at this festival,” he said of Electric Picnic, adding that he might even create some dance moves that can be done with a pint in the hand.
He is no longer an ubiquitous face on TV, but Evans hopes to get back on the box soon. In fact, he jokes that his absence may have led to some widening waistlines.
I’d almost blame the obesity epidemic on me - we didn’t have that epidemic in the 90s [when I was on TV] and here we are in the year 2012 and we have all the obesity… there is more of a need for what I started.
Evans definitely sees himself as living up to his name, saying: “I still look so good.” He wants to get the message out that “if I can show people I am 60 this year and exercise and movement has kept me looking young and feeling good”, then it is never too late to start moving.
We’ve got to make it as fun as possible. Fun is the main thing.
So what is his advice to people who want to get fit?
You have got to look in the mirror and like what you see – if you don’t like what you see, it’s up to you to say what can I do to make it different? Let’s set myself a target or a goal; that target may be I walk a mile. You measure a mile in your car and then you walk away from your home and then you have to walk back. If you aim to walk 15 minutes in one direction it means by the end of the day you’ve done 30 minutes walking.
He also suggests getting a buddy who has the same motivations and is like-minded.
The final thing he says is “you don’t have to go out and buy any fancy footwear – but if you have a pair of sneakers you are more likely to want to walk than not”.
Calling himself the “pied piper of fitness”, Evans assures that while you “never see happy joggers”, dancers always have a smile on their face.
They hear their fave bit of music and they tap their feet. The simplest of movement can lead to a major movement.
To find out the times of Mr Motivator’s dance sessions, keep an eye out on the Electric Ireland Facebook page.