DANB aspires to enrich humanity by sustaining a professional ballet company of the highest caliber which strives for excellence in the fields of artistic creativity, performance, education and community leadership.


Maintain a resident professional ballet company that provides a superior performance experience to residents, students and visitors to North Central Florida.

  • Support the implementation of Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs strategic plan, Culture Builds Florida’s Future, and Alachua County Visitor and Convention Bureau objectives.
  • Educate, inform and entertain children through productive and long-term partnerships with educational institutions.
  • Develop and implement programs that serve disadvantaged youth, the elderly, handicapped and other at-risk persons.
  • Expand the company base of operation to include partnerships throughout Florida.
  • Commit to an extended national and international tour schedule.
  • Bring increased visibility to the world of dance.
  • Create a fertile artistic environment where artists from all genres can grow and prosper.
  • Ever enrich the creative spirit of the dance artist.

Board of Trustees

Mr. Ascani recently retired as Vice President, Business Development of Ology Bioservices, but continues to work part-time as the Company’s Director of Corporate Relations. Mr. Ascani is a Mentor in Residence and Member of the Board of UF Innovate HUB, a member of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Committee and Vice Chairman of the Advanced Manufacturing Committee. Mr. Ascani is also a member of the Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership and the Alachua Chamber of Commerce. 

Gary Ascani


James Roberts,JD, joined UF Health Shands in 2008 as senior vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary. He oversees legal services and medic al staff services and is regularly involved in the strategic positioning of the organization. His over 30 year legal career spans health care general and deputy general counsel positions with the Johns Hopkins Hospital among others. Mr. Roberts has recently held investment banking positions as managing director with PNC Capital Markets and PNC Venture Bank. He serves as adjunct professor for the healthcare law course at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

James Roberts

Vice President

Weaver Gaines is a Trustee and Chair of the Audit Committee of Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, co-founding director and Chair Emeritus of the Florida Research Consortium, member of the Advisory Council of the Keck Graduate Institute, and an adjunct professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law.

Weaver Gaines


Autumn Doughton is an author of young adult fiction and ceramic arts teacher. In addition to her work with Dance Alive, Autumn is involved in numerous projects and organizations with a goal to improve the community.

Autumn Doughton


Lorie Gleim is CEO of Gleim Publications, a leader in accounting and aviation exam prep materials.

Lorie danced at Pofahl Studio in her youth. After practicing complex litigation for 23 years in South Florida with a top international law firm, upon her return to Gainesville, she joined the Dance Alive National Ballet board to promote the arts and positive, powerful female role models in the community.

Lorie Gleim


Peter H. Khoury, Ph.D., MBA is the President and CEO of Ology Bioservices, a biologics contract development and manufacturing organization headquartered in Alachua, FL with locations also in Maryland and California. He is originally from the Finger Lakes area of Upstate New York and attended Syracuse University and Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Peter Khoury


Lucinda Lavelli is Professor and Dean Emerita of the College of the Arts at the University of Florida. Throughout her career she has served on boards of nonprofit organizations and especially arts boards. A former dancer, she is a constant advocate for the arts as a part of the cultural, social and economic fabric of a community. She has served on the Dance Alive National Ballet board since 2006. 

Lucinda Lavelli


President of SIGMA CONSULTING AND MANAGEMENT, LLC, past Executive Director of Gainesville Area Innovation Network (GAIN) and past Chairman of Emergent Growth Fund LLC, a Florida based angel fund.

Lee May

Executive Director

Stephanie Nielsen is the Associate Director, Accounting for the UF Graduate School.  She started her career at UF as a student washing dishes and has held positions within the College of Dentistry, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Contracts and Grants, the Department of Chemistry, University Budget Office, CLAS Shared Service Center and most currently the Graduate School over the last 18 years.  She received her Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration from UF and was a member of the 2012-2013 UF Academy.  She danced as a child and has always been an avid lover of dancing. 

Stephanie Nielsen


Mrs. Rand received her doctorate in psychology from Stanford University and worked as a research psychologist at Stanford Medical School, NICHD, and the University of Florida Medical School. Once retired, my interests have focused on painting (www.randart21.com), writing children’s picture books (www.bigbunny.net ; www.mymothersdaughter.us), volunteering, and doing family-related adventures. I’m delighted to be part of the Dance Alive National Ballet support team. My roles as historian include being a production photographer, making an annual history scrapbook, and supplying the studio with a poster capturing highlights of each performance at the Phillips Center.

Colleen Rand


 Ms. Tuttle served on the staff of the Stuttgart Ballet and as Ballet Mistress for the Zurich Ballet. She has received three choreographic fellowships from the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs, was recipient of the prestigious Nancy Smith Award given by the Florida Dance Association in year 2000 for “Outstanding Leadership and Excellence in Dance in Florida” received the “Lifetime Achievement in the Arts” award given by the City of Gainesville, FL and was awarded the ‘Woman of Distinction’ award by Santa Fe College in 2010. In 2018 she received the prestigious University of Florida Distinguished Alumni award. She is co-owner and director of Pofahl Studios, Official School of Dance Alive National Ballet.

Kim Tuttle

Artistic Director