Artistic Director, Rock City Dance Center
Kristen Pittman has made a life of dance, and it has taken her around the world. She began performing on stage at the age of three and served as captain of the Razorback Pom Squad at the University of Arkansas. She has managed large-scale dance camps as a head instructor for National Dance Alliance and served as a technical dance consultant for ESPN’s coverage of the National Dance Championships.
She worked as a choreographer while interning at the Broadway Dance Center in New York and worked as a back-up dancer for singer Ashlee Simpson.
Today, the master teacher is owner and artistic director at Rock City Dance Center, a 10,000 sq ft, seven studio, state of the art dance facility in Little Rock that offers recreational, competitive and professional training.
Hometown: Little Rock.
First Job: Dance teacher.
Favorite food: Cheese dip.
What attracted you to your career? It’s been clear to me since I was a child that I was born to be a director and a dance educator. I began training and performing at age three, and it wasn’t long after that when I began casting and directing my immediate and extended family members in my elaborate shows to be performed at our holiday gatherings. I do it because it’s who I am.
What accomplishment are you most proud of? I am most proud of the dance community that we have built at Rock City Dance Center. It’s a safe and collaborative space for both students and instructors to thrive and grow as artists.
What’s something others would be surprised to know.
In addition to being director/owner at RCDC, I am also in my second season as director of The American Dance Company that will represent the United States of America at the IDO World Jazz and Modern Dance Championships in Poland this December. Working with a diverse group of dancers and providing them with the opportunity to represent their country on an international stage and seeing them experience and embrace other cultures in the process is amazing. Also, I have a college degree in mathematics.
What do you love most about what you do? I love having the opportunity and responsibility of inspiring our next generation. Working with dancers of all ages and watching them develop as artists, dancers and humans is my primary passion. It’s extremely rewarding to empower my students to make creative choices and follow their dreams. Seeing them grow gives me great hope that our youth will make a positive and powerful impact in our world.
Person, past or present, you admire most. This is an easy one. I most admire my mother. She’s the most intelligent, selfless and compassionate person I know. She’s always sacrificed to provide me opportunities, challenged me to broaden my perspective and be more creative, encouraged me to think of others before myself and given the best example of what it means to be both a strong woman and a great mother.
Personal motto: Surround yourself with people who challenge you to be better every day. Be the energy you wish to receive.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could sing. I mean I can and I do…a lot. I wish I could actually carry a tune.