As Roxey Ballet’s Founder and Artistic Director, Mark Roxey has created a humanistic organization where accessibility, equity, diversity, and inclusion are the core principles. His company mission is to include people of all abilities with differing viewpoints, experiences, and resources in training, exhibition, staffing, artists, and the board of directors.
As a Latino living in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn during his youth, Mark used breakdancing as a means of expression and education against racism and social inequality. Breakdancing evolved into concert dance as a means of communication and exploration of ideas for understanding, and to create transformational ways of thinking about Roxey Ballet’s core principles. Mark is continually looking for a people-centered approach; how to best exchange ideas or make a significant difference in the community and express equity and inclusion through the art of dance. For 30 years, Mark Roxey has been transforming communities through interactive programs that communicate human, civil, and disability rights, women's health initiatives, bullying, and the cultural condition.
Mark’s professional career began at a young age as a b-bop, hip-hop dancer in movies and commercials with a group called Fresh Kids from Coney Island. He then received a full scholarship to Joffrey Ballet, beginning his career at the Joffrey Ballet Company II under the direction of Gage Bush and Richard England, and later at The Joffrey Ballet under the direction of the late Robert Joffrey. From there he joined American Repertory Ballet and Dayton Ballet as a principal dancer under the direction of Dermot Burke and Marjorie Mussman.
During his professional dance career, Mark performed in works by legendary choreographers George Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, Robert Joffrey, Paul Taylor, Jose Limon, Alvin Ailey, Twyla Tharp, William Forsythe, John Cranko, John Butler, Maurice Petipa, and August Bournonville, appearing in companies around the world as a principal artist with his partner and wife, Melissa Roxey.
With 28 years of tenure at Roxey Ballet Company and Mill Ballet School, Mark has taught thousands of dancers and created hundreds of works of choreography. He teaches with skill, creativity, and heart, motivating students of all levels and encouraging them to reach their fullest potential. Mark has directed annual performances of Nutcracker and a Children’s Classic Stories series, Dracula, C-Word: Stories of Triumph Over Breast Cancer, Journey Back to the 80s, Carmen, Frida, and many more. He has also directed sensory-friendly adaptations of the most popular works.
As a person with a disability, Mark, and his wife, Melissa, founded and directed the dance and choreography Arts Access Program at Mathany Medical Center in Peapack, New Jersey from 1995 through 2007. They designed, staffed, and fulfilled a unique arts training program for persons with severe disabilities, working alongside disabled artists for over a decade to create an avenue for them to actively participate in the creative process.
Mark has served on the faculty of Princeton Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Wright State University, Trotwood Madison City Schools, Northeast Youth Ballet, and Raritan Valley Community College. He has also worked as the dance program coordinator for the Hunterdon County Teen Arts Dance Festival, program developer for the Mercer County YMCA network, and adjudicator for the State Teen Arts Festival.
Mark was voted the Voted # 1 Move & Shaker in Hunterdon County, NJ in 2015 and is the former President of Dance NJ. He is an active member and board member of Dance USA, IPAY, APAP, Arts Presenters, the National Arts Access Task Force, and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Disability Justice Advisory Committee. In 2006, Mark was honored by VSA New Jersey with the NJ Governor's Award, the highest honor in New Jersey, recognizing the outstanding creative achievement of art educators and leaders.