Dancing Donald dances for stress relief
Donald Simpson stands alone, in front of hundreds of people, and waits.
A live band starts to play, he blocks out everything around him and begins to move to the beat with every part of his body.
Simpson is the first to admit he is not a very good learner of dance moves, but he does not care.
It is his way of shaking off the trials of every day life.
Dancing is Simpson's stress relief.
And he can dance for hours.
He is aware of what it looks like to other people and he has copped his fair share of flack for it.
People have thrown things at him, made nasty comments, he's even been kicked off dance floors and been accused of taking drugs.
But it does not stop Simpson, who is now becoming known around Southland as "Dancing Donald".
He just forgets about the world around him, and embraces the music.
"There are idiots out there that will mock you for what you do. But my passion is dancing," he said.
"When people make fun of me, it makes me dance harder."
Simpson shows his support to all musical acts that perform in Southland.
"I feel like if we don't support them, they won't come back," he said.
Musicians, publicans and bouncers are all getting to know who "Dancing Donald" is.
Now that they realise he is just a regular guy who loves dancing, they support him whole-heartedly.
Simpson recalls a time when he was kicked off the dance floor and Into the East told the crowd to get up and dance.
But again, he was asked to sit down.
Not wanting to cause trouble, he moved to the side.
Into the East, who have called him their biggest fan, then turned and played specifically to Simpson.
"I just love it. I would dance everyday if I could."
The only thing that would stop him from dancing is his kids.
"I didn't want them to get flack for it as well, but they said to me, 'Dad, follow your passion'."
Simpson was recognised for his support of local music at the Southland Entertainment awards when he was presented the Devotion award.
And to top off the evening, he and his wife were celebrating their wedding anniversary that same night.
"I'm enjoying the music for what it is. It was never for fame, just something I do to get rid of stress."
- The Southland Times