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DEVRA GREGORY

Herstory

Devra Gregory was born in San Diego, CA and began ballet lessons at the age of 6.

 

At 12 she joined the school of the San Diego Ballet Company under the directorship of Dame Sonia Arova and Thor Sutowski of the Russian Ballet. During the summers Devra attended Isomata, Idyllwild School of Music and Performing Arts, with Bella Lewitsky. At 15 she was accepted as an apprentice with the San Diego Ballet Company dancing in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Copellia, and in repertoire pieces. Devra received a CETA grant at age 17 to work with The California Ballet Company under Maxine Mahon.  As a teenager, Devra learned to play the piano, guitar, and flute.  At 19 she went to New York to study ballet with Melissa Hayden and David Howard and was then accepted into the school of the Pennsylvania Ballet Company for a one-year scholarship.

She returned to San Diego to dance with Three's Company, a modern dance troupe with Jean Issacs, Betsy Roe, and Patrick Nollet. 

 

Devra taught dance for Del Ray Magnet dance program in public schools under Jack Tygett and for The San Diego Civic Youth Ballet.  In 1982 she moved to San Francisco and trained with Alonzo King, Artistic Director of Lines Ballet. She joined the San Francisco Opera Ballet Company, Theater Ballet of S.F. and freelanced with many other local dance troupes. She was cast for the Jean Ann Ryan Production “Sea Legs Review”, her first jazz contract on the Norwegian Caribbean Cruise ships. Moving to Los Angeles, she worked as a dance extra in movies, taught jazz dance and aerobics while studying jazz with Jo Tremaine.

Devra toured with a vaudeville revival, " The Best of Burlesque," performing in a wide variety of American Dance styles as an actor in the comedy routines.

 

She learned the art of “striptease” and performed a solo comedic strip act and was given the position of Choreographer. After three and a half years on the road, Devra settled in Florida and began acting. She studied the technique of Eric Morris and performed leading roles in "The Trip To Bountiful", "Shivaree", and "Time Square Angel". She joined the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and The American Guild of Musicians and Artists (AGMA). She put herself through acting school by taking on the challenging world of exotic dance.

Back in San Diego, Devra received training and licensing in massage therapy.  She performed as a costumed character in "Those Funny Little People", as "The Count" in "Sesame Street on Parade" and for Sea World as the lead in a children’s show. She worked as a dancer at Six Flag Texas in the Las Vegas based magic production “Spellbound”.

Devra worked as dance captain for "The Jewel Box Review”. a Las Vegas-based female impersonator review on the island of Aruba for three and a half years. Ms. Gregory performed her premier impersonation as “Michael Jackson” in that show. She then returned to the States in 2000 and worked for Lips Restaurant in San Diego, a drag-themed nightclub in their impersonator show “Dining with the Diva’s” for seven years, continually perfecting her act.

 

Her uncanny resemblance to Michael Jackson by  the art of stage make-up and Dev's professional dance skills earned her work performing for private parties, corporate and special events including E!TV's "True Hollywood Stories" as Michael Jackson's double.

 

In 2010 Devra produced her own full length Tribute show combining cirque style performers, and her own impersonation with six professional back up dancers. In 2012 she wrote and produced her life's story "Woman In The Mirror, A Dancer's Journey" winning a Bravo San Diego award.

Dev was initiated as a Wiccan Priestess in 1992. She now leads ceremonies and empowerment ritual circles. She facilitates workshops honoring The Feminine Divine, creative dance expression and finding the souls rhythm through drumming.

In her spare time, Dev enjoys sewing and creating costumes, playing the djembe’ (an African drum), vegetarian cooking, nature, metaphysics, esoteric and spiritual studies.

She loves spending quality time with her feline companion Miss Kiki.

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