Kelly Roth

Oct 23, 1953 - Feb 19, 2021

Kelly Roth

October 23, 1953 - February 19, 2021


Kelly Roth died suddenly on February 19, 2021 at age 67. He died quickly and without pain at his sister's ranch, as he was tending to the horses for the night. He is survived by his brother, Stephen Roth; his sister, Karlsson Roth; his daughter, Kelsey Rogers; his son, Tobias Roth; and his grandsons, Adam Zachariah Rogers, William James Rogers, and Phoenix Joseph Rogers. Dancers, students, artists, teachers, family members, and friends from all over the world will sorely miss him, his creative genius, his irreplaceable sense of humor, his determination, and his generous spirit.

Born to loving parents in Monterey, California on October 23, 1953, Kelly Roth choreographed and performed modern dance throughout his adult life with the inspiration of his mentor, Murray Louis. His work took him to Hong Kong, Mexico, all over the United States and Europe, and beyond. In Las Vegas, his prolific large-scale modern dance productions became a fixture of the local arts community. There he established the international Dance in the Desert Festival with Kyla Quintero, bringing together dance companies from all over the world for performances every summer. He also instituted the dance program at the College of Southern Nevada, where he became a beloved professor of 25 years, known for his humor, eccentricity, and high expectations, requiring his students to learn the art of dance by study and performance year after year. A man of great faith, he served tirelessly in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout his life, actively seeking to "lift up the hands which hang down", as our Savior did.

In all of his efforts, he was supported by his wife of 29 years, Leslie Jeanne Roth, who taught, danced, choreographed, and served in the Church of Jesus Christ by his side throughout their marriage. His second wife, Cynthia DuFault, supported and assisted much of his later work, as well. Of all his accomplishments, none brought Kelly greater pride and joy than the children he raised with Leslie: Kelsey and Tobias Roth. He continued to support and rejoice in their personal, professional, and artistic successes to his dying day.

A viewing, burial, and graveside service will be held on March 6, 2021 for invited guests in Phoenix, AZ. All are invited to attend his memorial service on March 13, 2021 at 2:00pm at 877 Temple View Dr. in Las Vegas, NV (masks and social distancing will be in effect). For any questions about these memorial services, please email Kelsey Rogers: [email protected].

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the continuation of Kelly Roth's annual Dance in the Desert Festival at


Sat, Mar 13, 2021 at 2:00 pm
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

877 Temple View Dr.
Las Vegas, NV 89110

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