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At age 9 he began taking tap classes, and by age 11 he had expanded his dance training to include ballet, jazz and lyrical. At age 15, he started traveling around the country to take classes from the best of the best dance educators. Derrick says the only way he was able to make it through the drama of high school was by taking part in a work study program, where he could earn school credits by teaching dance 5 days per week. After graduating high school, he continued to develop his style of choreography. Teaching at 5 studios, he soon became one of the most sought after choreographers in Minnesota.
At the peak of Derrick's popularity as a choreographer, and being a firm believer that a persons dance education is never complete, he decided to pack up his car and move to Los Angeles to expand his career. Since then, he has appeared on ABC Family's "Switched! ," the motion picture "The Gift" and the stage show for Disney's animated feature "Bolt." Other credits include: Tappin' in the Twin Cities with Gregory Hines and Savion Glover, Burnin' The Floor and Blur featuring Carmen Electra, as well as performing with the Seamless Dance Company, Out On A Limb Ballet Company, In*Formation and Keep It Jumpin'. Derrick's teaching methods are based upon embracing your limitations and developing the facility you are given. He believes we are humans first, dancers second, and asks his students to be true with themselves and honest with the art. It's not quantity, but quality.