A Stony Brook dental student, Varun Goyal, is merging his passions for dance and tooth care into a series of videos on YouTube.
Goyal connects the lyrics of popular songs with his studies. In one challenge, he began in scrubs, danced to Ariana Grande’s “Positions” and connected the lyrics with his dental procedure.
“If there’s a song that gets released, and I can relate dentistry to it right away, then, it just goes from there,” he said.
One video was inspired by Drake’s “Toosie Slide.” Goyal filmed a dance routine called the “Tooth-Sie Slide,” holding a toothbrush. He is able to play on words in modern songs to bring a refreshing sense of creativity from a dental perspective.
His passion for dance was ignited in eighth grade, when he stumbled on the reality television show “America’s Best Dance Crew” and was captivated by the dancers’ unique expressions. Their efforts to convey a story through movements rather than words inspired the Stony Brook student to use dance to tell a story. One of his favorite performances in 2016 prompted him to share his talents online.
Goyal started posting videos merging dance and dentistry on YouTube ten months ago. While taking classes from special choreographers and competing with Stony Brook’s Philippine United Student Organization (PUSO), PUSO Modern, Goyal’s talents have gained momentum on social media and Youtube. Some have dubbed him “the Dancing Dentist.”
“As I got deeper into [my studies], I found a way to merge the two. I think it’s always important to be unique, creative and find your own way about going the distance,” he said.
Healthcare professionals have had to adapt to new obstacles brought on by the pandemic in the past year. Many “Singing Doctors” and “Dancing Nurses” have become widely popular on social media. Last March, for instance, CBS This Morning reported on Dr. Elvis Francois, a “singing doctor [that] strikes a chord with a message of hope and joy.”
“Music goes places medicine can’t go,” Dr. Francois said.
Many have expressed their thanks for the smiles, hopeful messages and energetic moves in Goyal’s video comments.
The comment section of Goyal’s “The Premiere” featured much of this gratitude. @BrittanyBartasco commented, “What great talent you all have! Thank you for the smiles!” and @JudithClarke wrote, “This is great, I am now a BIG fan of Goya!”
He recently collaborated with other students and Stony Brook alumni to choreograph a video describing the campus’s strength of community during the pandemic. The video showcases the Stony Brook dental students continuing their education despite new health and safety precautions measures, tagging it with #Stonybrookstrong.
Kate Scarinzi, a senior health sciences major, and Co-director of PUSO Modern, participated in the video alongside Goyal.
“The confidence and charisma that dance has given me in my own personal character, for sure will translate into my future professional career,” she said.
Dancing in the dental school’s buildings and in the middle of campus, Goyal’s choreographed routines reflect the strength of Stony Brook’s campus and the camaraderie of students. The dancers in his video “The Premiere” learned Goyal’s choreography online and displayed that their passion for dance can transcend lockdown and separations.
“It’s important to continue with what you love to do, because that’s what is going to make you happy. If you’re happy, you’ll be able to make your patients happy,” Goyal said.