Devin Richey - Commercial Dance
Devin Richey was born in Michigan and hails from the small town of Milford – growing up amongst the trees, lakes, snow, and potholes. He found his love of movement after accidentally finding himself in an all-boys’ hip hop class as a kid. Today, Devin is a New York City based performer, choreographer, educator, director, and musician having earned a BFA in Commercial Dance from Pace University, with dual concentrations in Choreography and Pedagogy. His strength lies in his versatility, having trained extensively in ballet, hip hop, jazz, contemporary, musical theatre, tap, and more. Alongside these, he is also a NASM-certified personal trainer, founder of Human’s Playground, and guest movement coach for the Olympic training program at the International Skating Academy.
Devin started working professionally while studying in school, and upon graduating continued to dance his way through projects ranging from commercial, concert, immersive, musical theatre, and on camera. Most recently, he danced and sang with Phish for their NYE “Best Gag Ever” at Madison Square Garden, appeared on an episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, stepped into the role of A-Rab for Jon Rua’s West Side Story, swung for Dance Lab NY’s Summer Cycle ’19, was a featured dancer in Steven Blandino’s Bridesmaids: A Dance Narrative, and originated the role of Brent in Spiegelworld’s immersivedisco show We Are Here, directed by Steven Hoggett. Other credits include; Ludo’s Broken Bride (NYMF), RWS Entertainment, Saudade (Journey Lab), NYFW Berenik A/W’17, Cats and Anything Goes (summer stock), in the feature film My Dead Boyfriend, for Theresa Stone and Luam at the Teens For Food Justice Gala ‘19, with LLMoves at the United Nations, for Andrea Ward at Carnival NYC, and in one of his most favorite performances, his pregnant twerking teletubby act in Falzone Family Circus’ Untitled IV at Burning Man ‘18.
He has had the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the leading names in the performing arts community; Jon Rua (The Grit), Andy Blankenbuehler, Al Blackstone, Chloe Arnold, Maria Torres, Karla Puno Garcia, Ephrat Asherie, Margeurite Derricks, Lisa Eaton, Yasmine Lee, Alexandra Damiani, Ms. Vee, Jason Samuels Smith, Ginger Cox, Jess Hendricks, Mark Caserta, Kat Wildish, Pascal Rekoert, Rhonda Miller, Lauren Gaul, Dee Caspary, Chase Brock, Pedro Ruiz, Neil Bettles, Kathryn Doby, Liana Blackburn, and Scott Jovovich. Additionally, from Joe Tremaine, Derrick Schrader, Tony Bellissimo, Keri LaGrand, and Laurie Johnson while touring with Tremaine as Dancer Of The Year.
Performing has a sweet spot in Devin’s heart, but his truest passion lies in creating stories through movement. His work focuses on storytelling through a fusion of physical theatre and foundational techniques; combining various dance styles, human gesture, emotional narrative, and precise musicality to capture and connect with the audience. His choreography has been seen in both commercial and concert worlds; on stage, film, and in immersive and interactive projects. He’s had the privilege to present alongside other creators at Live At The Archway, Young Choreographer’s Festival, Leg Up On Life Spoken Word Gala, ArtsForAlz Benefit, and at Dumbo Dance Festival. His latest choreographic endeavor involved him working as associate choreographer to Steven Hoggett for the AEA Tier 2 Work Session of “A Beautiful Noise” The Neil Diamond Musical, directed by Michael Mayer.
Other choreography credits include the official music videos for Mocap’s “Frameshift,” and 43’s “Bleed Green Walls”; “The Gentleman Gangster” (Players Theatre Short Play and Musical Festival); TECHO/Univision’s #ZeroSlums Poverty Awareness flash mob; and as associate choreographer to Lauren Gaul’s “Bossanova” at Pace University’s Commercial Dance Showcase Dancespace ‘16. Sine 2019, he has been coaching and choreographing programs for ice dancers as a guest movement coach and choreography consultant for the Olympic training program at the world-renowned International Skating Academy. He was brought in as movement consultant for experimental theatre piece Unchilding (Baryshnikov Arts Center Premiere); and cochoreographed the official music video for the recent single by The Lunachicks’ Gina Volpe – “Make It Good.”
Alongside dance and choreography, he has also directed and produced in film, dance showcases, and specialized events; he founded and directed Human’s Playground – an immersive, multidisciplinary art party dedicated to fostering and presenting passion projects, with a specialized focus on live dance performances – from 2015-2017 while pursuing his college degree. He has found immense joy in finding ways to bring the dance community together in ways big and small, bridging friendships and creating space for dance. In the past he has hosted donation-based absolute beginner’s dance workshops, as well as giving donation-based classes in a variety of styles for professional-level dancers in NYC. Additionally, he teaches the next generation of dancers at studios throughout the Tri-State area, ranging in styles of jazz, contemporary, ballet, musical theatre, and more.
As an educator, Devin’s classes (whether in jazz, ballet, contemporary, musical theatre, and more) stress the importance of radical self-expression, foundational education, anatomical understanding, and storytelling development. Warm-up and conditioning exercises aim to build stamina, strength, and awareness while safely pushing their personal limits of flexibility. Across the floor and center exercises challenge dancers within the elements of the given technique or style; improvisation exercises provide a platform for exploration, discovery, and integration of new ideas; combinations of choreography test memory, attention to detail, extrasensory perception, and the musical ear while building self-confidence and expression in a welcoming, safe environment. Ultimately, he hopes to impart each student with the knowledge to accomplish their goals in a healthy, technically informed, and emotionally empowered way – helping guide our future artist-athletes towards their dreams.
Currently, Devin is performing freelance in both commercial and concert projects, educating throughout the Tri-State area, creating original work for studios, festivals, showcases, and on camera, and continuing to train and session with other dancers within the community. His recent projects include further development of “A Beautiful Noise” as assistant choreographer towards a Boston and Broadway run, as well as dancing in Theresa Stone’s video Betwixt & Between. He is furthering his pursuit of fitness and wellness education via the National Academy of Sports Medicine, writing a full length dance-play based on the music of My Chemical Romance, and developing plans for a Human’s Playground reboot. In his free time he likes to create improv dance videos, get lost while hiking, dive into virtual and tabletop worlds on a quest, jam on the drums with fellow musicians, live fully at music festivals and concerts, and read a nice book with some coffee.