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South Alabama’s ‘groovy dentist’ on dancing competition show

Rising up in Monroeville, Taylor Sims knew he needed to be a dentist. And he knew he appreciated to bounce. However he may by no means have guessed that his on-line fame as “the groovy dentist” would put him on nationwide tv.

All of it got here collectively Tuesday when Sims was one of many featured rivals on NBC-TV’s “Dancing with Myself,” a present designed to capitalize on the recognition of the dance challenges seen on TikTok and different social media. The concept nonetheless sort of takes Sims without warning.

There was a second throughout manufacturing of the episode when he discovered himself pondering, “I’m actually dancing in entrance of Nick Jonas and Shakira. That is loopy,” he stated. “It was undoubtedly a mind-blowing expertise, to say the least.”

Sims simply completed the primary 12 months of a residency in pediatric dentistry at Howard College Hospital in Washington, D.C. Getting there was kind of a lifelong journey.

“Rising up, my mother had advised me she was bullied principally due to her smile,” he stated. “She was very adamant about getting my brothers and I braces, ensuring we went to dentists each six months. … She couldn’t get braces, so she made certain her kids did.”

“Being the youngest son, being a son generally, listening to your mother speak like that, sort of made me mad,” he stated. “I needed to do one thing that might principally function a present to her daily that I’m going to work. Dentistry was the route for me.”

He went first to the College of Alabama, which he known as his dream faculty. “”I’ve been Roll Tide my whole life,” he stated. After graduating in 2016 he went to Meharry Medical Faculty in Nashville, finishing his dental research in 2021. Now he’s midway via his residency, nonetheless getting used to life within the District of Columbia. “It’s utterly totally different from the South,” he stated. “I’m able to get again within the South.”

He’s additionally getting used to his standing. “Typically I’ve to pinch myself when somebody says ‘Dr. Sims,’” he stated.

The enjoyment in all this comes via loud and clear in his posts at www.tiktok.com/@thegroovydentist. In a single, viewers see him shimmying in a resort room, celebrating the event of “Attending my first American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry convention as Dr. Sims! Actually dreaming on a regular basis I get up.” In one other, he dances in a hospital hall with a younger affected person.

In one other, carrying scrubs as he strikes to Lucy Pearl’s “Dance Tonight,” he lets captions inform his story: “Solely 3.6% of pediatric dentists are Black. … Rising up in Southern Alabama, I by no means seen a dentist that seemed like me til I used to be 19-20 years previous. … I dreamed it however had the toughest time attempting to consider that I may do it. … Nobody in my household went this route so it was unfamiliar territory for us all. … However right here I’m, years later, the FIRST DOCTOR IN MY FAMILY! … I Pray my journey and my illustration encourage folks to go after their desires even once they look not possible to attain.”

Posting dance clips on-line has been an occasional factor, he stated, not a model he’s been attempting to develop. He likes to maintain it enjoyable. Even so he’s had a minimum of one clip that “sort of went viral” when he challenged one other dancing dentist. Maybe that’s how he got here to the eye of the present’s producers.

“Dancing with Myself” was launched this spring. Pop stars Shakira and Nick Jonas are joined on the judging panel by YouTube star Liza Koshy, and Camille Kostek serves as host. Every episode places a dozen contenders in “pods” in entrance of a studio viewers that votes on each spherical of the motion.

This isn’t a “Survivor”-type present the place it takes a season to search out out who takes the prize: Each episode pairs a recent batch of contenders all the way down to a winner. The fast-paced motion options solo dance challenges, duo pairings and one-on-one face-offs. Judges “save” favorites who didn’t make the minimize on the viewers vote, however nobody stays secure for lengthy.

“I used to be very nervous going into it,” stated Sims. “I’ve by no means accomplished something like this. However you solely reside as soon as, I really like to bounce, so why not go for it?”

On the present, the hyped-up studio viewers introduced a number of vitality, he stated.

“It was like one large dance celebration,” he stated. “The present is known as ‘Dancing with Myself.’ You’re dancing with your self, however you’re additionally actually dancing with everyone on the market watching.”

“It’s a really fast-paced present. However everyone related to the present was sort,” he stated. “I’ve made mates from everywhere, all walks of life.”

For the “Groovy Dentist,” work is the primary focus. Although having a enjoyable persona undoubtedly may be an asset in his explicit specialty.

“Youngsters are very humorous, they’re very unpredictable,” he stated. “You by no means know what you’re actually going to get. Pediatric dentistry is actually a number of behavioral administration, ensuring that they really feel snug.”

When dad and mom have had unhealthy experiences and are nervous about going to the dentist, children can choose up on that. “You’re principally combating two battles on the similar time” to win them over, he stated.

“I do know I’m in the precise specialty,” he stated, “as a result of typically work doesn’t really feel like work.”

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