Contemporary

E v e r y   w e d n e s d a y  |  8 : 3 0 a m - 9 : 3 0 a m

About the mentor

Devin Stygar began dancing when she was 13 years old and in high school. She ended up advancing very fast and received a scholarship after her first year that allowed her to continue training. In community college (Orange Coast College), she joined a performing ensemble and created two modern-contemporary pieces—one of which was chosen and adjudicated at the American College Dance Association. She also received a scholarship for both of those pieces. Since transferring to San Jose State University, she has been able to work and train with Jose Limon and Martha Graham, back-up dancers for pop stars, and even participate in a week-long residency with Doug Varone and his company members. Outside of school, she has taken classes from World of Dance contestant, Michael Dameski, and So You Think You Can Dance's Will Thomas. She is currently apart of SJSU's pre-professional company (UDT), and will be working with Mike Esperanza, Jenny Lee, and Kyle Abraham in upcoming months. Outside of dance, she has trained in aerial arts for three years and has been teaching on-and-off for two.

What do you want your students to learn?
First and foremost I want them to know that dance is enjoyable. While it is hard sometimes, it is not about having perfect lines or being the best at a difficult warm-up. It has always been about the connection between the body and the soul. We build that facility in order to express ourselves freely.

The second is safety, both physically and mentally. I want students to know that the dance room is a safe space for them to be themselves. And on a physical level, although the training may be difficult, we have to find our limits and know how to listen to our bodies when we need to.

The last is building confident and strong dancers. Giving them the ability to do super-human movements of a dancer while developing a style of their own. Overall, they will learn how to develop their technique, strengthen their bodies, gain confidence and style, take care of their bodies, and how to find themselves through dance.

Words to describe your style:
Unique, challenging, vulnerable, and innovative.