Dance Alive! waits for Curtis


Published: Friday, August 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 1, 2003 at 3:01 a.m.

Alejandro is en route.

Dance Alive! has hired dancer/New York City firefighter Alejandro Curtis to replace Judy Skinner as the company's longtime executive director. Meanwhile, Curtis is awaiting word on his official FDNY retirement and expects to be in Gainesville within months.

This is big news for Dance Alive!

For one, it marks the end of administrative duties for Skinner, who will stay on as a resident choreographer and director of education and grant services. Curtis, too, has a vast dance resume (20-plus years) and once served as a guest dancer in Dance Alive's "The Nutcracker."

Additionally, he's married to Dance Alive! principle dancer Marcela Figueroa.

"(Judy's) doing a great job but she feels the organization needed a burst of energy, and he's a burst of energy," noted Skinner's sister Kim Tuttle, Dance Alive's artistic director.

You'll read much more about this dancer with a fascinating firefighting history in future Daybreak pages once he arrives in Alachua County.

Skinner and Tuttle's mother, Mary Ellen Pofahl, started the company in 1966 as the Gainesville Civic Ballet. It evolved into Dance Alive 10 years later, turning into a professional state troupe.

Dave Schlenker can be reached at 374-5045 or scene@gvillesun.com.

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