Our History

Who We Are

Dance Alive National Ballet  features an international roster of award winning dancers. Elegant and exciting, they are at the heart of the company’s  undeniable success. DANB’s repertoire ranges from the quintessential classic Nutcracker to the cutting-edge movement of contemporary ballet. Throughout this choreographic tapestry are woven the ballets of Executive Artistic Director, Kim Tuttle and Choreographer-in-Residence Judy Skinner whose distinctive artistic styles brand the company.  Entertaining and insightful, provocative and joyous, this creative aesthetic is at the heart of the Company.


  • Selected to the State of Florida Touring Roster a record 40 years consecutively
  • Toured 17 states, 47 Florida counties, Costa Rica, Brazil, Russia and Bulgaria, and Cuba
  • Ranked as the number one company in their category in the state of Florida for several years in both general and educational programming
  • Presents regular programming at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Gainesville, FL.
  • Collaborated with 6 Olympian/artists creating works performed at home and on tour, including command performances for HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco
  • Regularly presents ‘Lady Bug: Action Hero!’, a classic children’s ballet created by Kim Tuttle providing educational outreach for 15 years in over 25 schools throughout Florida and the Southeast
  • Annually presents ‘The Nutcracker’, performing 54+ years with over 200 touring performances and 30 school programs in the Continental United States.
  • Developed Artistic Collaborations with the University of Florida Symphony Orchestra and UF Concert Choir, Hippodrome Theatre, Cade Museum, Holy Trinity Church, Gainesville Civic Chorus, UF College of the Arts and numerous musicians, actors, poets and visual artists.
  • Resident Ballet Company for the Legacy Park Multipurpose Center, Alachua Florida.
  • Invited to the International Ballet Festival of Cuba.

Our Story

Our story is one of devotion, persistence, and immense creativity. Born in the ‘Gator Nation’ of Gainesville, FL., the present company was always a dream in the heart and soul of the Pofahl family.  Founded in 1966 by Mary Ellen Pofahl, and continued through the talents and efforts of daughters Judy Skinner and Kim Tuttle, DANB has become the premier touring company in the Southeastern United States. The process was slow and careful, always with the knowledge that longevity would come through community involvement and appreciation.

So in 1966 the Gainesville Civic Ballet was formed. It offered students and young future professionals the opportunity to hone their skills under superior instruction.  The Civic Ballet eventually became involved in the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association, a pre-professional organization, raising the standards of performance and administrative achievement.

Next on the list of goals to accomplish was acquiring a booking agent. The company was fortunate to catch the eye of a partner in Siegel Artist Management, and the rest is history.

Gainesville Civic Ballet changed its name to DANCE ALIVE NATIONAL BALLET and began touring the USA, Costa Rica, Brazil, Russia and Bulgaria. Because of its excellence, the company was chosen to be on the State of Florida Touring Roster for 40 years consecutively, the only dance company in the state to attain that distinction.

From dancing on a basketball court where lights were hung on hoops to being sponsored in state of the art theatres to performing by invitation for HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco,  DANB has been on a mission to bring dance to the people. Along with the annual mainstage performances at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, DANB has outstanding educational and outreach programs.

We do it all. And we do it with the help of a supportive community, and a wealth of extraordinary artists of all genres who contribute their enormous talents in exciting and innovative collaborations.

With over 50 years of Nutcrackers, artistic creations, children learning to appreciate dance, enriching the community and blood, sweat and tears.