Devra Gregory, was born Devra Cheryl Yufe on October 29, 1958 in San Diego 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 or Dev, as she’s called attended Isomata, Idyllwild school of Music and Performing Arts, training in ballet, modern dance with Bella Lewitsky and jazz with Jo Tremain. At 15 she worked as an apprentice with the San Diego Ballet with masters teachers and performed in repertoire pieces and full length ballets such as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and Copellia. Devra received a CETA grant at age 17 to work with The California Ballet Company under Maxine Mahon.
Devra’s mother supported her whole heartedly in her artistic pursuits. As a child, Dev was taken to dance concerts, opera, and theatre and 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 Isaacs, Betsy Roe and Patrick Nollet. Dev taught dance for Del Ray Magnet dance program in public schools under Jack Tygett and also for The San Diego Civic Youth Ballet.
At 22 Devra got married and moved to San Francisco, 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 Productions “Sea Legs Reveiw”, her first jazz contract on the Norwegian Caribbean Cruise ships. Moving to Los Angeles, she worked as a dance extra in movies, taught dance and aerobics and took class in jazz and ballet continually.
Devra left L.A. to go on the road with a revival show of old vaudeville, “The Best of Burlesque”. This show gave her the opportunity to perform in a wide variety of American dance styles. She learned the art of “strip tease” and choreographed and performed a solo comedic strip act and was given the position of choreographer for the entire show.
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 several stage plays. She joined the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and The American Guild of Musicians and Artists (AGMA).
Back in San Diego, Dev received training and licensing in massage therapy, while continuing to dance. She performed for Sea World in the children’s show at Shamu’s Happy Harbor and then in the Las Vegas magic production “Spellbound”.
She was then cast as a backup dancer for “La Cage”, a Las Vegas based impersonator review for their show in the Caribbean. Devra lived on the island of Aruba for three and a half years performing nightly in the “Jewel Box Review” while learning yet another form of entertainment, impersonation. As dance captain she worked closely with the impersonators and dancers. One of the “stars” portrayed was “Michael Jackson” and it was at that time Dev developed an interest in learning impersonation due to Michael’s unique style of dance. She worked on “Michael” in her spare time, became a true MJ fan, and had her premier performance as “MJ” in that show. She then returned to the States with a new career on the horizon in 2000. Devra 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. Do to her uncanny resemblance to Michael Jackson she broke away from performing only in drag themed shows and currently performs for private parties, corporate and special events anywhere in the world.
In her spare time Dev enjoys sewing and creating costumes, playing the djembe’ (an African drum), vegetarian cooking, nature, metaphysical, esoteric and spiritual studies, and spending quality time with her feline companion.