TheRussianTiger: Real name, Jeffrey Vinokur, is a 22 year old resident of New Jersey, United States best known for his appearance on the television show NBC’s America’s Got Talent and logging over 18 Million YouTube views. He has also appeared on the Discovery Channel, Fox 2 News, CBS 3 News, and CW 11 News as his other persona, The Dancing Scientist. In 2009 Vinokur was a background extra in the dance movie Step Up 3D when it was filmed in New York City, and lead Rhythm Per Second Dance Crew from 2008-2011. He was also chair of the Madison Dance Conference, and taught weekly dance classes for students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Checkout his recent Interview with Dancers Global.
I started practicing dance regularly in September 2007 and accredit the majority my training to online videos & DVDs. After 6 months of only learning from videos I was lucky enough to travel to New York City and learn from some of the most well-known poppers in the world: Jazzy J (Electric Boogaloos), Dementia (ABM Crew), Future Ninja (House of Ninja), and Hit Master Fish (G-Style).
I started dancing because it was my way of expressing myself and a positive outlet for hardships at home. Popping was my escape to a world of human robots, waves flowing through limbs, and people floating as if on ice. I practiced for at least an hour everyday in my house, which helped me progress quickly! I even kept my dancing a secret for the first two months because I was afraid of what others would think!
After 1.5 years of dancing I had over 3 Million YouTube views, started teaching my own classes, and was performing on the college circuit. Now 5 years after learning my first arm wave, I lead Rhythm Per Second dance crew, have over 18 Million YouTube views, founded the Madison Dance Conference, runs this Award-winning website, and sell instructional videos in over 47 countries…. All this started from standing in front of a computer screen and practicing popping at home.
I remember being worried that it would take too long to learn and questioning if it was even possible, but deciding to go for it has been one of the best decisions of my life.
If I were to give an aspiring dancer some advice, I would say two things: First, “Stop surfing the web watching videos, just get out of your chair and give it a try!” I spent months watching YouTube videos wishing I could dance before I finally decided to get out of my chair and learn. I would also tell you to take it one step at a time. “People are not born dancers, they evolve into dancers.” You can’t be the best overnight, but if you put your mind to it and practice for an hour a day, you can rock the dance floor MUCH faster then you ever imagined.