Our Staff

Who We Are

  

 

  

Kristen Sadler - Pittman

Owner, Artistic Director

Kristen Pittman’s passion for the art of dance and the joy she gets from sharing it with others is infectious. With a dance career spanning 26 years, her resumé is as impressive as it is extensive. Her experience includes serving as Captain of the University of Arkansas Razorback Pom Squad, interning at the acclaimed Broadway Dance Center in New York, and training under internationally recognized dancers and choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Wade Robson, Frank Hatchett, Kat Wildish, Germain Salsburg, and many others.

In 2000, Kristen began traveling the country, managing large-scale dance camps as a Head Instructor for National Dance Alliance. During the past four years, Kristen’s choreography and instruction has been routinely awarded by regional and national dance competitions, such as Showbiz and Hall of Fame as well as the Federation of Dance Competitions. An already established dancer, instructor, and award-winning choreographer, Kristen now shares her vision and passion as a studio owner. She couldn’t think of a better place to do so than right here at home. Come experience the joy of dance with Kristen at Rock City Dance Center. kristenpittman.com

 

Mary Beth Tilley

Ballet Program Director, 

Artistic Director, The Official Ballet School of RCDC 

Ms. Tilley began her ballet training in 1993 at the age of seven with Ballet Magnificat in Jackson, Mississippi.  The following year she enrolled at the Academy of Ballet Arkansas where she received her early training from Kirt and Linda Hathaway. While dancing with Ballet Arkansas, Mary Beth was fortunate enough to work with such world renowned instructors as Elenora Pokhitonova of the famed Vaganova Ballet Academy, Olivier Munoz, Joe Istre, Rob Davidson, Clara Cravey, Helen Starr, Patricia Barker, and Susan Jaffe of American Ballet Theatre who is one of the ballerinas who inspired her to dance.  Mary Beth has performed various roles in “The Nutcracker”, “Cinderella”, “The Sleeping Beauty”, “Ballet Under the Stars”, “Pas De Quatre”, “Paquita”, “La Bayadere”, and “Giselle” to name a few.  More recently, she performed in Arleen Sugano’s “Kisetsu”, “Counterpointe”, and “X=10” with Ballet Arkansas and served as Ballet Mistress for Ballet Arkansas in 2009. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Rock City Dance Center and hopes to show boys and girls of all ages how wonderful the art of ballet truly is. Come experience the joy of dance with Mary Beth at Rock City Dance Center.

 

Matt Boyce

Tap Program Director, Untapped Founder

Matt is a native of New Jersey. He began his professional career at age 12 when he became the youngest ever, principal dancer for the New Jersey Tap Ensemble. At age 16, Boyce became an original company member of Mike Minery's Tapaholics with whom he toured nationally for five years. He has served as an assistant choreographer for the nationally touring dance convention Slide and is the headline tap instructor for the nationally touring dance convention Shock: The Intensive. Boyce holds a Bachelor’s degree in music from Montclair State University. When asked about his move to Arkansas and his new position, Boyce said this: "At Rock City Dance Center in Little Rock, working under Kristen Pittman, I have found a new home. I was with RCDC several times this year, teaching these kids and getting to know Kristen and her staff. I felt at home when I was there, and I have an inspiration in tap when I'm there that I never knew was in me. I can't wait to share my personal love for the art of tap dancing with Kristen and her students, and I am so excited to be a part of Rock City Dance Center."

 

 

Sydney Smith

Apprentice Company Director, RCDC Company Instructor

Sydney began dancing at the age of four and has not stopped ever since.  She has worked as a dance teacher and choreographer for the last ten years.  As a student, Sydney enjoyed competition dance and attended numerous conventions and UDA/NDA camps.  After high school, Sydney went on to dance at Ole Miss for four years at a part of the Rebelette Dance Team.  While in college, she attended UDA College Dance Camps and College Nationals on a yearly basis as well as performed at SEC Football and Basketball games.   As a part of the Ole Miss Athletic Program, she participated in numerous dance team appearances and community events. Currently Sydney is a company instructor at RCDC and Director of the Apprentice company program.  She also coaches local middle and high school dance teams.  In her free time, Sydney enjoys spending quality time with her dogs: Dixie Belle, Junior, & Layla.  We can’t wait for you to experience the JOY of dance with Sydney at Rock City Dance Center!

  

Arleen Sugano

Ballet Instructor, Official Ballet School of RCDC

The Official Ballet School of Rock City Dance Center welcomes Arleen Sugano to our faculty! Miss "A,” as affectionately dubbed by her students, has led a highly distinguished career performing and teaching dance all over the world. She holds a BA from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters in Dance Choreography from the University of Iowa.  In New York City, Ms. Sugano was an instructor at the Joffrey Ballet School and New York University. Outside of New York Ms. Sugano has taught at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the Lula Washington Dance Company and School in Los Angeles, California, the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, and the National Ballet of Korea in Seoul. Students of Ms. Sugano include seven-time national gold medalist Aya Noma in Japan and country music star Shania Twain.  As an educator, Ms. Sugano has devoted a tremendous amount of energy towards a streamlined ballet pedagogy that produces healthier and stronger dancers. We are so happy to welcome Miss A to The Official Ballet School of a Rock City Dance Center and can't wait for our dancers to experience the JOY of dance with her!

   

Kama Johnson

RCDC Company Instructor

Kama Johnson fell in love with dance at the age of three and has been dancing ever since. In high school, Kama was an award winning dancer, being named UDA All Star and NDA All-American a total of five times and was a four time Arkansas State Champion as a member of the Benton High School Dance Team. After high school, she continued her dance career as a member of the Arkansas Tech University Dance Team. Kama has also studied under renowned choreographers such as Joe Tremaine, Doug Caldwell, Keri Lagrad, and Marty Dew. Kama enjoys sharing her passion for dance and love for life with children of all ages and is excited to do so at Rock City Dance Center. Kama’s dance classes will be filled with positive encouragement, laughter, and lots of fun. Come experience the joy of dance with Kama at Rock City Dance Center.

  

Kristin Larsson O'Hara

RCDC Company Instructor

Kristin performed in her first dance recital at the age of three and has been dancing since. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and is a teacher in the Little Rock Public School District. Over the years, Kristin has studied a wide variety of dance disciplines including contemporary, hip hop, jazz, ballet, even latin ballroom. In high school, Kristin began traveling and dancing in competitions from California to Florida and studied under choreographers such as Liz Imperio, Wade Robson, Joe Tremaine, and Keri LaGrand. While attending the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, Kristin appeared as the leading role in several ballet performances and was a member of the Arkansas Rim Rockers Dance Team. Kristin has worked as a dance instructor/choreographer and has served as a judge for regional dance competitions such as Star Power. Kristin possesses a unique passion for and knowledge of dance. Combined with her love for education, Kristin is a valuable member of the Rock City Dance Center staff. Come experience the joy of dance with Kristin at Rock City Dance Center

 

Denise White

Recreational Instructor

Denise White has been a dance educator for over 20 years.  She has taught dance across the state and worked with dancers who have gone to persue dance at the professional level.  She holds a BA in Art from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  Denise's passion and commitment to the art form of dance gives her a unique ability to communicate concepts in a way that is engaging and exciting for young dancers!  We are very excited and honored to have Denise on our staff. She will be working with our recreational dancers and helping them expereience the JOY of dance!  Rock City Dance Center is so happy to add Denise to our amazing faculty!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devin Nelson

Hip Hop Instructor

Originally from Los Angeles Devin now calls Little Rock, Arkansas home.  Through her dance career, Devin has trained with some of the best in the industry including WilldaBeast, Andrea Green, Trisha Miranda, Brian Freedman, Dave Scott, and Debbie Allen.  Devin graduated from Taft Performing Arts High School in California and began her professional dance career soon after.  Devin has perfomed in multiple industrials and with several recording artists before moving to Little Rock.  Now she is so excited to share her love for dance and espeically Hip Hop with our dancers at Rock City Dance Center!

 

 

Megan Bettis

Fundamental Ballet & Yoga Instructor

Megan received her dance training at the official school of Ballet Arkansas and the Joffrey Ballet School before attending Southern Methodist University to study Dance Performance. She has performed as a guest artist with various regional companies, dancing in classical ballets such as in “The Nutcracker,” “Raymonda,” “Paquita,” and “The Sleeping Beauty.” She has participated in many contemporary works which have been nominated for Austin Critics Awards including the aerial dance company Blue Lapis Light’s “Requim” which was seen by over 14,000 people and became a cultural highlight in Austin. Megan began sharing her passion for movement and classical ballet as an instructor in 2005. She became a certified Leap ‘N Learn teacher in 2010. In addition to classical ballet, she has a wide range of experience teaching and choreographing musical theatre and jazz, and was also trained in tap, modern, and character dance. Her students have been accepted to prestigious summer programs including Joffrey Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Austin, Texas Ballet Theatre, Broadway Theatre Project, and CCM Musical Theatre Intensive. Megan continues her education with teacher intensives and workshops throughout the United States and has trained with David Howard, Finis Jhung, Mignon Furman, and Beverly Spell. Come experience the joy of dance with Megan at Rock City Dance Center.

  

Hannah Laster

Front Desk Manager