‘Tap Into the Music’ with Miggy DeJesus
Updated: Mar 29, 2020
New London Choreographer Inspires Youth Through Dance
By Bridney C.
“I just really love inspiring the youth, encouraging them, and I want to pass on what I've learned to the next generation,” Miguel DeJesus says, a 24-year-old choreographer from New London, Connecticut. DeJesus has been gearing up for his dance students' upcoming performance at the Connecticut Sun basketball game at Mohegan Sun Casino.
TigerEye’s performance at the Connecticut Sun arena will take place in late September in front of over 1,000 people. Their routine will be performed live on television.
DeJesus, along with other instructors at TigerEye will teach them the choreography for their upcoming September performance. Currently, DeJesus works as a part-time dance instructor for the TigerEye Dance Team, a hip-hop dance group comprised of youth from New London county.
DeJesus, also known professionally as B-Boy Miggy, teaches his own set of students for the New London Recreational Program. DeJesus loves to teach b-boying and tutting.
DeJesus teaches his students inside the TigerEye dance studio inside the Harris Building in downtown New London. In each class, his students learn some of his breakdance techniques and moves.
He and his dance team made several dance videos that have gained massive views on social media to promote the TigerEye brand.
“Sometimes, I'll pick specific students who are flexible enough, and I teach them all of the moves I've thought of but can't do because I'm not flexible enough. I give my moves to them and write them myself for me to learn as I try to gain flexibility in my body,” DeJesus says.
He follows his “Love Life and Encouragement” mantra by encouraging his students to not give up when the level of choreography becomes challenging. At every dance class, he creates a positive atmosphere by reminding his students to be one with the music.
DeJesus' expectation he has for his students is not to be the best, but rather understand the art of dance. Mistakes are common, and DeJesus says that by being patient with his students makes them feel more at ease in class.
When his students sometimes get stuck on learning a certain dance move, DeJesus sends them home with instructional videos to watch based on what they learned in class. He allows one-on-one time with students who are not as experienced as the other dancers.
DeJesus is also a community leader, who held his first event in New London held called the New London Arts Gathering in July 2019. At the event, local artists performed at an open mic and cash prizes were offered to those who participated in dance workshops.
He is grateful to be a part of TigerEye and be an inspiration to his students. DeJesus enjoys having the out-of-body experiences he has had during his performances due to being in touch with the music.
“The students at TigerEye are a bunch. They’re just wonderful kids with unlimited potential and huge hearts,” DeJesus says.
His relationship with TigerEye started in 2016, after a few partnership collaborations with community events that involved dancing. DeJesus also volunteered as a judge for tryouts TigerEye held for youth interested in joining the dance team.
DeJesus has found the art of dance to be an outlet for self-expression for adolescents. “What attracts me to the company is the hard work and dedication they put behind their business as well as the bonds I form with the students I teach,” DeJesus says.
One of DeJesus’s memorable performances as a dancer was being invited to join a tour for a band from the United Kingdom called Twelve24 after they discovered him dancing at a local event they were a part of when they visited Connecticut.
According to DeJesus, traveling is an essential part of being a dancer. Dancing in competitions and attending dance expos around the United States will help a dancer network with other dancers and dance crews.
“It allows performers to stay motivated and continuously see the dance world in a new light when you meet new people and go to different places,” DeJesus says.
DeJesus says it is important for someone pursuing a career in dance to not allow negativity and the comments of others to prevent him or her from prevailing. “You have to realize what people say about you is a reflection of their insecurities and goals they've personally set for themselves but never achieved them,” DeJesus says.
DeJesus’ start in dance began at New London High School after he performed at the school pep-rallies and talent shows. Despite being self-taught in breakdance, a friend of his, fellow b-boy Christian Rodriguez taught him new moves, inspired him to take b-boying seriously, and he became a member of a local b-boy group.
“The dance community is small in New London, so we all pretty much learned from one another. At that time, there was hardly anything to bring the community together in terms of dance, and we mainly taught ourselves through YouTube and traveling to events,” DeJesus says.
DeJesus’ goal for his future is to continue to inspire youth and his community by providing an outlet of self-expression through his dance workshops and performing arts events. He plans to one day bring his workshops overseas to Europe to “achieve milestones in different countries.”
“There are dancers who just listen to music and there are dancers who tap into the music. When you tap into the music you become the music and paint the song with your own body in a unique way that nobody else can. I tap into the music,” DeJesus says.
We asked Miggy DeJesus this Sweet Scoop Fun Fact Question:
If you could dance for any famous person, who would it be, and why? Where would you dance for this famous person?