It’s 80-plus degrees on a sweltering afternoon in downtown Hamilton and yet several cars, motorcycles and school buses are honking at a 6-foot-7, 350-pound man, smiling and showcasing his dance moves at a fevered pitch.
The sight of John “The Dancing Trucker” Drury performing is certainly something out-of-the-ordinary.
As KC and the Sunshine Band’s “I’m Your Boogie Man” sets the mood for Drury in front of the Historic Butler County Courthouse, he displays some fancy footwork that belies a man of his size.
“This all got started in 2011 when I lost 100 pounds through dance, dance fitness and Zumba,” Drury said.
He said in recent years he has performed in front of the courthouse on Sundays, usually starting at 1 p.m. The “Dancing Trucker” says he just wants to bring some joy to others.
He also likes show he can dance.
“I am a 6-foot-7 big white dude with rhythm so I am trying to break stereotypes,” Drury, who lives in Hamilton, said with a laugh, while doing a little Michael Jackson moonwalk on the curb.
He added, “ I try to get people to step out of their comfort zone. There is a stereotype involved with dancing in public.”
From truck stops to competitive dance competitions, the “Dancing Trucker,” who also does part-time security for the Bengals, has become somewhat of a local phenomenon.
Getting positive feedback from onlookers and on social media tugs at Drury’s heart. The bond created has helped him deal with a personal tragedy.
“About two years ago, my mother, (Sandra Drury) was killed by a drunk driver on her way to church,” he said. “That was just the worst thing. She was just a kind, giving person. So that is another reason I want to get out here and just spread joy and get smiles. It helps me too. I don’t want money or just attention.”
Hamilton police Sgt. Brian Robinson said Drury often lets the police department know when he is performing — just in case people call about a man big enough to play for the Bengals is trying a Justin Timberlake dance move downtown.
“OMG! Who is this guy dancing on High Street? He just made my day,” was one social media post that Drury shared with the Journal-News.
“That makes my day — and seeing the people smile,” Drury said. “It is all worth it and I hope to be able to continue to do it.”