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FR&A Video: ‘Dancing Scientist’ Entertains, Teaches At Cedar Hill

 

What do you get when you combine a biochemistry Ph.D. candidate with some hip hop dance moves and an explosion or two?

You get Jeffrey Vonkur, also known as “The Dancing Scientist.”

Vinokur, a Montvale native, brought his 45-minute science and dance show to Cedar Hill Preparatory School on Cedar Grove Road Sept. 22. The UCLA Ph.D. candidate entertained students with a series of experiments and competitions, as well as more than a few dance moves.

“I’ve always been really passionate about science, I had a lot of really great teachers growing up here,” Vinokur said after his performance. “A lot of kids didn’t have those experiences of seeing the amazing aspects of chemistry, when things bubble, fizzle and explode. It really gets your attention.”

“Otherwise it’s really dense vocabulary in text books,” he said. “I want to share that passion, I thought this was a good way to do it.”

While Vinokur has had a life-long love for science, his interest in dancing sparked about seven years ago, he said.

He started learning dance moves from YouTube videos, then traveled to New York City to study with “some well-known people,” he said.

An invitation to the 2009-10 season of “America’s Got Talent” provided the opportunity to fuse his two passions, he said.

“I did well numbers-wise, in the top 100 out of 70,000 auditions, but I got so little air time that it didn’t help too much,” he said.

From there, he said, he started doing school programs.

“I got a 45-minute show out of a 90-second act,” Vinokur said.

Vinokur was in the area because of an upcoming appearance on The Today Show, he said. He’s also appeared on programs such as The View and Queen Latifah’s show, according to his Web site.

Vinokur said that most of his scientific colleagues are supportive of his alter-ego.

“Generally people respect it because I do outreach to children,” he said. “There are some people who look down upon it, but it’s generally well-received.”

Cedar Hill Prep dancing scientist

 

 

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