In the latest installment of our Dazzler Profile series, The Costume Gallery team caught up with Devin Neal of West Orange, NJ
“I got hooked on dance when I knew it was something I could never get tired of. I love that there are so many different styles of music that I can dance to.” -- Devin Neal
With a mom who owns a dancing school, it certainly seems as if Devin Neal was destined to become a dancer. He started studying there when he was just two years old, and as you might expect, it took him a little while to “grow into” the role of a performer.
Thinking back about his first recital, Devin says: “I remember doing gymnastics and being too short to get over one of the equipment, and the other kids laughed.”
Now, other kids look up to Devin as a role model, both inside and outside the dance studio. Someday, we all might be seeing his name in lights!
When Devin finishes his senior year in high school, the 17-year-old from West Orange, NJ, plans to move across the country to California and make a living as a dancer. We’re grateful that he took some time before the start of this big school year to take part in our Q&A session.
Read on to learn a little bit more about Devin!
Who are your biggest mentors in dance and what impact have they had on your life?
My coaches are my biggest mentors. They motivate me and help me see what kind of future career I can have in dance.
What was your favorite costume of all time?
I loved a camouflage jumpsuit that my team wore for a competition because it didn’t feel like a costume; it felt like my regular wardrobe.
How did you keep dancing during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I continue to dance every day, either on my own or through virtual classes. I also added weight training to my routine.
What have been the biggest challenges you faced as a dancer during the pandemic?
It’s been challenging finding inspiration within my home, when I am used to finding it within other people and New York City.
How has your outlook on life changed in the last year?
This past year, I’ve realized that I cannot make everyone happy, and everyone will not understand my life.
What do you think it means to be an “Influencer”?
It means to be an inspiration to others, for not just what you can produce, but also what is within you.
What message do you want to send to other dancers who look up to you?
Everyone’s time will come at a different moment, so don’t get discouraged, and continue to work hard at your craft.
Devin’s amazing talent, personality and work ethic make him an ideal member of our Dazzler team. We wish him the best of luck in his senior year and can’t wait to see him light up the dance world after graduation! Please stay tuned to our blog as we continue to introduce our entire Dazzler squad throughout the coming season!