MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Professional dancer Tyrell Rolle is bringing his talent and passion back to his hometown for his next big act while paying it forward.

A dance camp at the Little Haiti Cultural Center provides a glimpse of who Tyrell Rolle is as a teacher and a leader. While he provides instruction to dancers of various age and ability, he shares how he arrived here.

“I’ve traveled all around the world. I’ve danced with The Lion King danced with Ailey, danced with Cirque du Soleil and now it is time that you go back to where you started from Liberty City,” says Rolle enthusiastically. “This is an urban community, it’s diverse, captivating, and amazing it’s Miami!!”

With so much energy as a kid, his path to the professional stage started with simple backyard plays – acting, directing, and singing. But a career in performing arts seemed unlikely and unpopular.

Tyrell Rolle (CBS4)

“Dance was not easy because I’m a male in Liberty City, it’s more like are you drugs, drinking hanging out with your friends,” he recalled.

With determination and a supportive family, Rolle achieved his goals. Now bringing his passion and talent right back to his old neighborhood, he hopes to motivate kids to be whoever they want to be, through his organization the Rolle Project, and a new after school program he’s planning called “R.A.G.E.”

“R.A.G.E. stands for Reaching Above Greater Expectations. R.A.G.E. is all about self-esteem, once we build our self-esteem dance steps are easy. It is about the mind first and the body reacts.”


Along with the contemporary modern dance and ballet techniques, Rolle employs what he calls “checking in,” giving students a chance to announce verbally that they are doing okay or great, to connect and be present in the moment.

Having found his calling, when asked about his idols and influences, Rolle’s emotions overflow.

“Shannon Haynes, Troy Powell, Alvin Ailey, Judith Jameson, Christopher Huggins. My teachers and people giving back to me and then me coming back and giving back to another generation, that’s inspiring.”

Rolle instructed the student dancers in the intensive program with Arts and Academics for Excellence summer camp, ending with a performance showcasing their moves, choreographed by Rolle. The dancers were introduced by Shannon Haynes, who is both owner of Diva Arts Dance Studio, and Rolle’s cousin. A packed audience enjoyed the show.

For Vernal Rolle who has seen his son perform on Broadway and beyond, this act may be the one he’s most proud of.

“He really inspired me. I told him ‘you made me to be a better man, a better dad’” Vernal Rolle beams. “He’s living his dream and he loves to give back.”

Click here for more information you on the Rolle Project.

Marybel Rodriguez