Teaching Team

The Mill Ballet School is home to many practicing professional dance teachers working in all style and levels. Each teacher is hired based on a number of factors, core to the values of the Mill Ballet School and its community of students.

Melissa Roxey
(Founder & Director)


Pre-Ballet, Ballet,

Pre-Pointe, Pointe, Trainee, 

Progressing Ballet Technique

Mark Roxey
(Founder & Director)

Ballet, Boys' Ballet, Contemporary, Trainee

Mrs. Roxey began her studies with the syllabi of The Royal Academy of Dancing at 5 years of age. Before beginning her professional career at the age of 17, she studied at the School of American Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, the Joffrey Ballet, The Pacific Northwest Ballet School and finished her training with world renowned teacher Maggie Black. Mrs. Roxey danced with the American Repertory Ballet as a soloist, then as a principal with the Dayton Ballet Company. She has danced the roles of Sugar Plum Fairy in "Nutcracker" and Odile in "Swan Lake." Melissa has worked with choreographers including Septime Webre, Marjorie Mussman, Dermot Burke, Bill Craty, Suki Schoer, Christine Holder, Patricia Mcbride, Mark Diamond, among many more. She has served on the faculty of many ballet schools around the country and is the Founder and Executive Director of the Mill Ballet School in Lambertville, NJ. Learn More

Pinja Sinisalo
Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Pre-Pointe, Character Dance

Pinja Sinisalo was born in Vantaa, Finland. She started her dance studies at the Helsinki Dance Institute at age of 4. Later she was accepted for the Institute's Professional Training Program, where she trained between 2005-2012. After that, Pinja continued her studies with the Finnish National Ballet School, completing the Vocational Qualification in Dance. At the age of 16 she had the privilege to be accepted for the Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest, under the direction of Szakály György. Pinja was training in classical ballet and contemporary dance and she also participated the school's in-house competitions. She received the 3rd prize in the choreography competition with her piece "Szürkület" in 2014 and a jury diploma with her piece "Forgotten" in 2015. She also won the 3rd prize in the non- solo category, with the duet "Neapolitan Dance from Swan Lake", in 2016. Pinja graduated in 2017, completing the Bachelor Degree in Arts specialized in Classical Ballet. From there she started her professional career with Ballet of Sorbisches National Ensemble, under the direction of Mia Facchinelli in Bautzen, Germany. She had the amazing opportunity to tour all over Germany with the company, performing very versatile repertoire in different styles - ballet, folk dance, contemporary and dance theatre. Pinja spent her summers attending the SIBA International Ballet Workshop every year between 2013-2018, where she also had the chance to assist the artistic director of Salzburg Ballet, Peter Breuer, to stage his piece "Bolero" for the workshop's performances. Pinja has also thought masterclasses in Finland. She is super excited to join the staff of the Mill Ballet School.

Kristen Smith
Musical Theater, Adult Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap

Kristen is so excited to be back this season teaching at The Mill Ballet School! For the past two years she has been focusing on Musical Theatre performance and was asked to be in the Ensemble and Dance Captain at a new theatre opening in West Chester Pennsylvania called The Resident Theatre Company. She was in their 2017 Inaugural production of Spamalot that was Barry Nominated and hired back for this year’s production of Bullets Over Broadway. She also spent this winter performing in Media Theatre’s productions of Carousel where she was also Dance Captain and back for Beauty and Beast where she played a Silly Girl and danced and sang in the ensemble. This year, Kristen choreographed for Parkland High School’s Fall production of Annie and Solebury School’s Spring Production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. I have had the most amazing experiences as a practicing professional  and I am eager to continue to share all that I learned with students of the Mill Ballet School. 

Lester Holmes

Acro, Tap, Jazz

Lester Holmes has an impressive background in dance, musical theater, and acrobatic performance and teaching. He currently subs classes at STEPS in NYC. He has taught tap, jazz, and musical theater at private schools and colleges including Peabody Preparatory, Goucher College, and Towson University, as well as previously directing and owning his own studio. Prior to that, Mr. Holmes has exercised his passion for teaching for many years (jazz, tap, ballet, acrobatics, and musical theater), taught master classes all over the east coast, taught at Broadway Dance Center, and even taught and choreographed in Italy. Mr. Holmes was a successful professional in NYC, singing and dancing on and off Broadway, in national tours, on television and in nightclubs, as well as having been an acrobat in two productions at the Metropolitan Opera. He has begun sharing his love for dance with the young dancers at the Mill Ballet this summer and is now working with the Choreographic Workshop students on both jazz technique and choreography.

Azusa Okamoto
Ballet, Pointe, Pre-Pointe 

Azusa Okamoto was born in Japan, began her training at the age of three. She studied at Fukutani Yoko Ballet Studio in Kyoto, Japan. She moved to Canada at the age of sixteen and received full Scholarship to train at the Victoria Academy of Ballet, continuing on to graduate from the Post-Secondary Bridge Program in 2016. Her performance experience includes Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, La Bayadere, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Le Corsaire pas de deux, Paquita pas de deux, Flames of Paris pas de deux and contemporary repertory.

Her awards include First Prize at the 23 rd Kobe Dance Competition, First Prize at the 2nd NAMUE Grand Final Ballet Competition, First Prize at the 26th NAMUE Ballet Competition, 2nd Prize at the 12 th Osaka Prix Ballet Competition in Japan, Classical and Contemporary both section Top 12 at the YAGP Seattle 2015/2016 both year and First Prize of Ensemble category at the YAGP 2016. 

Christina Holl​

Ballet, Contemporary,

Pre-Pointe, Pointe, Progressing Ballet Technique, Trainee

Mr. Roxey began his formal training at The Joffrey Ballet in New York City, where he was awarded a full scholarship and later graduated at the top of his class. He went on to dance professionally with Joffrey Ballet Concert Company under the direction of Edith A'ddario, Joffrey Ballet II under the direction of Gage Bush and Richard England, and The Joffrey Ballet under the direction of the late Robert Joffrey. He then joined American Repertory Ballet and Dayton Ballet as a principal dancer under the direction of Dermote Burke and Marjorie Mussman. Mr. Roxey has performed in works by George Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, Robert Joffrey, Paul Taylor, Jose Limon, Alvin Ailey, Twyla Tharp, William Forsythe, John Cranko, John Butler, Maurice Petipa, Augusta Bourniville, and many others. Learn more





Christina Holl began her dance training under the direction of former Broadway actress Alison Gertner-Mann at the Center for Music, Theatre, and Dance in Jackson, New Jersey. Holl recently graduated with honors from Montclair State University (MSU) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. At MSU, she studied ballet, pointe, and various modern techniques such as O’Donnell, Limón, Horton, and contemporary. She has performed in choreographic works by Larry Keigwin, Christian von Howard, Fredrick Earl Mosley, Antony Tudor, Nancy Lushington, and others. Holl has previously trained at the Princeton Ballet School Summer Intensive and attended the Tuscan Summer Dance Intensive in Livorno, Italy. Christina is honored to be a part of the faculty of the Mill Ballet where she teaches Ballet, Modern, Contemporary and more... 

Brandon McGuirk
Ballet, Boys' Ballet, Trainee
Lees Hummel

Adult Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Trainee

Originally from Seekonk, Massachusetts, Brandon began his dance training at a young age with Festival Ballet Providence. He joined their Junior Company in 2011 for 3 years where he worked with the professional company as a corp member in their production of The Sleeping Beauty. Mr. McGuirk attended summer intensives along with Festival Ballet Providence, Joffrey Ballet School, worked with the Berkshire Choreography Project in 2015, and also was a finalist in the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition in New York City. He was accepted as a trainee with the Joffrey Ballet School in New York under full scholarship in which he attended for 3 years. His roles included Harlequin, Waltz of The Flowers, Hornpipe, and Nutcracker Prince for Joffrey’s performance of The Nutcracker. Brandon also performed Swan Lake Waltz, The Sleeping Beauty Prologue, Le Corsaire Grand Pas, Flames of Paris Grand Pas, and soloist in Esmerelda Pas de Fleurs all while he attended Joffrey. He also worked with EMIA choreographer Frederick Earl Mosley in which he performed Groove, Journey, Snow and Roses, Grounded, Wild and Free, and Earl Mosley’s Discover Dance. This is Brandon's third season with Roxey Ballet and is excited to be invited as a faculty member of the Mill Ballet School 

Lees Hummel is an instructor, choreographer, and Director of Community Outreach for the Mill Ballet. After earning her B.F.A and M.F.A in Dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, she was a principal dancer with the Clive Thompson Dance Company, New York City Jazz Company, Nashville Dance Project (Artistic Director), Miami’s Momentum Dance Company (Assistant Artistic Director) and Kinetic Works Dance Company. Her academic positions have included: Director of Dance for Berks Ballet Theatre, Reading, Pennsylvania, Lecturer at the University of Miami, Adjunct Professor; Miami Dade Community College, New World School of the Arts, University of North Carolina Charloce, Winthrop University and Central Piedmont Community College, Assistant Professor; Western Kentucky University and Southeast Missouri State University, Director of Education for American Repertory Ballet

and Director of Dance at Dillard School of the Arts, Fort Lauderdale and Conchita Espinosa Academy, Miami, Florida where she assisted in creaAng the Sunshine State Standards for Dance in grades K-12.


Teaching Philosophy – Lees specializes in teaching Simonson Jazz Technique (developed by Lynn Simonson, Founder and Former Director of Dance New Amsterdam, New York City). This highly regarded modern/jazz dance discipline encourages the student to expand their mind/body connection by enhancing their internal understanding of muscular alignment, while connecting it to their mind’s visual images. Lees has completed her level 1, 2A and 2B Touch For Health kinesiology training with Norma Harnack, the National Representative for Touch For Health Training in St. Louis, Missouri and Pilates training from Ray Kurshals of the Physical Mind Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Lees’s pedagogy belief is that all forms of dance can be taught by giving an explanation in three ways: speaking and demonstrating the body part being used; demonstrating the dynamics that accompany it, and defining the rhythm or count that it occurs on. This allows students to apply their natural, unique way of learning to help them understand choreography and instruction at a quicker pace which will enhance audion technique. PosiAve reinforcement combined with self-assessment creates a confident professional dancer and performer.



Lisa Botalico


Lisa Botalico toured the USA as Artistic Director and Principal dancer of La Compañia Folklorica Latina under the auspices of the National Theatre of the Performing Arts, performing in: Town Hall (NYC), Constitution Hall (DC), Society of the Four Arts (Palm Beach), Chicago Theatre, and the Masonic Temple (L.A.). She has shared the stage with many flamenco greats including Maria Alba, Jose Molina, Manolo Rivera, Orlando Romero, Victorio and Carmen Salao. She performed at Symphony Space in A Tribute to the Great Antonio and with the Theatre Opera Music Institute at Cami Hall. She was principal dancer with Sol Y Sombra Spanish Dance Company, and Ballet de Puerto Rico. Lisa has performed at Gracie Mansion, at the Lincoln Center Craft Show, as guest artist with the Nassau Symphony in Long Island and in Tablaos in NYC.

Lisa debuted with the Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre in 2000 as a guest artist, joining the company as principal dancer in 2001 and then Associate Artistic Director. She has choreographed company dances including, Verdiales, Siguiryas and Al Ritmo de Las Piedras and directed and conceived El Sueno (A Spanish Dance Ballet based on the story of the Nutcracker). Her critically acclaimed solo performances with the company include the George Street Playhouse, Crossroads Theatre, Union County Arts Center, Community Theatre At Mayo Center For The Performing Arts, Keane University, Passage Theatre, the Ocean County Arts Center and on NJN Images/Imagines, most notably the 2009 Emmy award winning documentary The Spanish Guitar. Lisa has been a dance instructor since 1989 and now teaches throughout New Jersey.

Current and past faculty includes

Kate Engelhart, Nerea Borrondo, Matt Baker, Tara Seymour, Kaito Yamamoto, Jace Coronado, Xiao Xiao Cao, Heidi Yu, Mariana Rodrigues Closs​, Jillian Mitchell, Janessa Cornell, Marc St Pierre, Joanna Defelice, Alicia Curtis, Rebecca Rudolf, Hillary Marie, Dorothy Lister, Stephen Casey, Vanessa Laws, Denise Cecere, Patricia Brown, Carrie Nelson, Jill Harrison, Leland Schwates, Etsio Pavone, Denise Alexander, Richard Jarboe, Andrei Utsionov, Eleyna Martinson, Leoannis Pupo-Guillen, Jose Johnson, Sharon Rudda, Greg Daniels, Marjorie Mussman, Anne Connors, Wendy Star, Cherie Noble, Tim Martin, Ronnie Carney, Nina Janik, David Pittenger, Riiko Kitayama, Sigrid Glatz, Stuart Longeway, Brannon Osburn, Karen Martin, Heather McCoy, Alison Rubenstein, Trinette Singleton, Andrew Papa, Kitty Lunn, teachers from Roxey Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, Dayton Ballet, New York City Ballet, Alvin Aliey and other professional companies around the US.

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