From nanoscience to not-so-science

Published: Oct. 26, 2012

CU-Boulder JILA Fellow David Nesbitt is used to working his way around chemistry laboratories, but working his way around the dance floor is a different story altogether.

Nesbitt was one of eight celebrity dancers participating in the 6th Annual Dancing with the Boulder Stars event held on Oct. 18, 2012 at the Boulder Theater. This annual fundraiser is held by the You, Women, Children, All of us Center (YWCA) in Boulder to raise money for the organization’s mission of human services, advocacy, educational programs and racial justice initiatives.

The event is similar to the popular television show Dancing With The Stars, where Hollywood celebrities and professional dancers pair up to rehearse and compete in a dance competition.

Nesbitt said the reason he chose to enter the competition was to pay tribute to his wife.

“My wife is a really good dancer, and I’m more of a fear dancer,” he said. “So this was more like paying homage to my wife.”

Besides facing the perceived challenge of having two left feet, Nesbitt said time constraints and stepping out of his comfort zone proved big personal tests.

“Part of it was trying to get 13 rehearsals into my teaching and travel schedule,” he said. “That was quite a physical challenge, but the other part of it was getting over my fear.”

While Nesbitt maintains he had no talent for dancing, both the judges and audience begged to differ. Nesbitt and his professional dance partner Pat Connelly, the director of Blue Moon Dance Company, were the seventh couple to take the stage. The duo danced a beautiful waltz, requiring both precision and elegance, and received praise from the judges and audience.

Nesbitt said that he was blessed to have the support of not only his wife, but also his family, colleagues and students.

“My brothers and sisters were curious but very supportive….It was sort of outside their expectation for me, being the professor of the family. I’m grateful for the people in the biochemistry and several others in the chemistry department,” he said. “Also, my graduate students in my quantum mechanics class. It’s a scary position, putting myself out there, taking a risk.”

Videos of the Dancing with the Boulder Stars performances can be seen on the YWCA of Boulder County’s YouTube channel. The organization is also a participant in the 2012 Colorado Combined Campaign.


Image captured from Glimpse MultiMedia video coverage of the event.