http://ukadventureracing.co.uk/wp-json/wp/v2/pages/5 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.

Vision Statement

Elevate your being through the art of dance.


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

Gary Ascani


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. 

Tim Cannon

Vice President

Timothy Cannon began his professional career in dance; performing with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Louisville Ballet and Washington Ballet. He later earned his undergraduate degree from American University and a MBA from the University of Florida. Tim has worked with Dance Alive since 1998 in various capacities. He currently serves as President/CEO of Alliance Credit Union. 

Weaver Gaines


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.

Stephanie Johnson


Stephanie Nielsen is the Controller for Radiant Credit Union. She started her career at UF where she spent 18+ years before taking on her current position. 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. 

Kim Tuttle


 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.

Star Bradbury


Star Bradbury has over 24 years in the senior living field in many different capacities. Her experience includes management, operations, public relations, event planning, and sales and marketing.  Star was an Administrative Director for several assisted living communities, Marketing and Sales Director for a dementia specific assisted living community and retired 2 years ago as the Director of Sales and Marketing for 18 years with Oak Hammock at the University of Florida, one of the premier life care retirement communities in the country.  She now has her own consulting business, Senior Living Strategies, to assist people as they formulate a plan for successful aging.   She still considers dance an important part of her life and is honored to come full circle by re-joining the board. She feels that Dance Alive is an integral and critical part of the Gainesville arts community and is committed to helping secure both its financial and artistic future. 

Jody Davis


Jody Davis was a founding Partner of the CPA form of Davis, Monk & Company headquartered Financial Group. Active in the community, Jody is a past president of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, has served as a former Board Member of both the Gainesville Jaycees and the Gainesville Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow. He is a founding board member of the Gainesville Area Innovation Network (GAIN) and the Gainesville Sports Organizing Committee (GSOC), He is a member emeritus of the Steering Committee for the Fisher School of Accounting at the University of Florida, a former member of the advisory committee for Dragon Rises College of Oriental Medicine, and is a Board member and past president of the Santa Fe College Endowment Corporation. He was on the boards of the Athletic Association and Gator Boosters at the University of Florida and was a founding board member of Florida Citizens Bank for 17 years after having been a 14 year board member of Barnett Banks of Alachua County.  Jody recently served 17 years on the Santa Fe Health Care board which was the parent company for the AvMed, Village, and Haven Hospice entities.

Donna DeConna


Donna DeConna grew up in Gainesville, Florida and attended St. Patrick’s Elementary School and Gainesville High School.  She was a former student of Pofahl’s dance studio, training under Mrs. Mary Ellen Pofahl, Kim Tuttle and Judy Skinner.  She graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Economics and a minor in Dance.

After graduating, she moved to Miami and was a member of Fusion Dance Company before moving to New York City.  Eventually returning to South Florida, she graduated from Nova Southeastern School of Law and worked on the defense team of the former dictator of Panama, Manuel A. Noriega.  As well as practicing law, she has represented emerging artists in promoting, marketing and managing their work and has served on the Board of Directors of Momentum Dance Company, Miami, Florida from 1994 to 1998 and the Museum of Contemporary Arts,  San Diego, California from 2004 to 2009. 

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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.

Melanie Leonard


Melanie Leonard is a native Floridian who was a dancer in her youth. She has been an avid fan of dance ever since. After graduating from UF, she began her exciting career as a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines, retiring after 32 years. Melanie has been an officer/member of numerous philanthropic groups supporting the arts (Beaux Arts, Chautauqua Dance Circle), children (Children’s Aid Club, Junior Welfare Society, Coral Ridge Junior Woman’s Club, Moms in Prayer), single families (Sheridan House Ministries), her sorority (Delta Gamma) and the Gators (Broward County Gator Club, South Florida Regional Council, UF Alumni Board). She has been recognized by many of these organizations for her leadership and vision. After gladly returning to Gainesville several years ago, her most recent role has been co-president with her husband, Bill, of the Friends of Theatre + Dance at the University of Florida College of the Arts. Being on the Board of Trustees of Dance Alive is a natural progression. Melanie is excited to promote and support DANB!

Chris Luetgert

Trustee / Building Consultant

Chris is President of Luetgert Development, one of Ocala’s premiere luxury developers.  Chris has multiple years of construction experience and over $ 435 million in completed successful projects. He considers himself a team player.  Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in Architectural and Building Sciences/Technology from Auburn University.  He and his wife Emma live in Ocala.  Their 12-year-old daughter comes to Gainesville and takes ballet at Pofahl’s.

Susannah Peddie


Susannah Peddie runs a short-term corporate housing company, Southern Comfort Properties, in Gainesville, FL. She also has a career background in finance. She is passionate about art; specifically, photography. She also loves designing clothing fabrics using her photography. Susannah is a past board member of The Cade Museum, The Junior League of Gainesville, Marion County Literacy Council, Gainesville Community Foundation, and was past president of the University of Florida Performing Arts. She is married to Brian Peddie and has one son, Phillip.

Colleen Rand


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.

Tim Roark


Tim Roark is a Partner at Koss Olinger where he began his financial services career in 2011 after earning a Master’s Degree in Business from Duke University. Soon after, he obtained the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation. Tim was born and raised in Gainesville and enjoys giving back to the community. He serves on the board for the Alachua County Education Foundation, the CHILD Center in the SWAG communities, the Finance Committee for Conservation Burial, and mentors with the Take Stock in Children program.  Tim and his wife, Stella, enjoy traveling and attempting to corral their two dogs, Gunner (Yellow Lab) and Benji (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel). They recently welcomed their first child Emmett.

James Roberts


James M. Roberts,JD, recently retired from UF Health Shands in 2018, began in 2008 as Senior Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. He oversaw there legal services and medical staff services and was regularly involved in the strategic positioning of the organization. His legal career spanned over 36 years and included  health care General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel positions with the Johns Hopkins Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and University of Wisconsin Health as well as other corporate attorney positions with various, finance, real estate and insurance Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Roberts also held investment banking positions as Managing Director with PNC Capital Markets and PNC Venture Bank. He also served as adjunct professor for the healthcare law course at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

Ward Scott


Ward Scott has been a major force in public service in Alachua County for many years. Ward Scott received his BA degree in 1966 from the University of Florida, and his Master’s in Education from UF in 1969. Retired from almost forty years of teaching at Santa Fe College, Ward was WHO’S WHO AMONG AMERICAN TEACHERS, 2002, Four Term President, Santa Fe College Senate, 2000-2004, Finalist, Florida Association of Community Colleges Teacher of the Year, 2007, recipient of the NISOD EXCELLENCE award in TEACHING and LEADERSHIP, University of Texas, 2008, and recipient of the Santa Fe Lifetime Achievement Award, 2009. Ward’s public service commitments have been many.  To cite a few, Ward was the community college representative for Senator Graham’s Amendment 11 Committee, 2002, Chair, Economic Advisory Committee to the City of Alachua, 2006, and ten year chair of the Rural Concerns Advisory Committee to the Alachua County Commission. Now a talk show host, Ward’s show, “The Ward Scott Files,” is a sponsor of Dance Alive National Ballet