Miss Gainesville 2023
Alexandra de Roos
Miss Gainesville, Alexandra de Roos, is a 19 year old college student, ballet dancer, and nonprofit founder.
At the age of 14, Alex moved to New York City, by herself, to train as a pre-professional ballet dancer at the School of American Ballet (SAB) at Lincoln Center which is the feeder school for the New York City Ballet. While attending SAB, Alex also received her academic education from the Professional Children’s School (PCS). Alex graduated from PCS with honors in 2021. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Alex’s training at SAB was extended for an additional year meaning she graduated from SAB in 2022. In the fall of 2021, deciding to continue with her academic persuits, Alex started at Columbia University majoring in psychiatry on a pre-med track.
At the end of 2021, Alex suffered a severe concussion which ended her professional ballet career. However, the trials she faced while healing from this injury have not only made her stronger, but have made her more passionate about her chosen area of study, psychiatry. Her career ambition is to become a sports psychiatrist so that she can help athletes overcome the mental challenges that they face when overcoming injuries similar to hers.
At the age of 8 years old, Alex founded a nonprofit entitled Peace Love Leotards Inc which she officially incorporated into a 501(c)3 in 2020 at the age of 16. Peace Love Leotards’ mission is to bridge the socioeconomic gap in the performing arts by providing dancewear and virtual training videos to underprivileged students. So far, through PLL, she’s been able to raise over $25,000 and donate to 1,000 dancers worldwide, partner with global dancewear brands, create a worldwide ambassador program of about 20 likeminded dancers who want to serve the dance community, and start a virtual academy where dancers can receive free dance classes to help supplement their dance education. Alex has also been able to fund Peace Love Leotards through creative endeavors such as designing a merchandise line that encourages people to dream big and pursue their big dreams as well as partnering with Express Feedback for Good and Chipotle. Dance is incredibly expensive and it is because of those expenses that many cannot reap the benefits that a dance education offers. Because of this, Alex has become a strong advocate for fine arts education working with Title 1 schools to facilitate their arts education programs and speaking with legislators about how we can better fund arts education.
In addition to becoming our 15th Anniversary Miss Gainesville, Alex was also Miss Gainesville’s Outstanding Teen in 2020!
Miss Florida Gator’s Outstanding Teen 2023
Amelia Grace McDonough
Amelia Grace McDonough, Miss Florida Gator’s Outstanding Teen is a 17-year-old Junior at Ponte Vedra High School. Amelia is also Dual Enrolled at Saint Johns River State College and is working towards earning her AA Degree while attending high school. She maintains a 4.3 GPA and hopes to one day attend the University of Florida and study Journalism and Communications. Her Social Impact a New Leash on Life, Promoting Animal Assisted Healing, was started after her brother was tragically struck by a car and suffered a traumatic brain injury. After learning of the positive effects emotional support animals have on those that have suffered from TBI’s and PTSD. Amelia became an ambassador for K9’s for Warriors, Canines for Companions, and she founded her own club at her high school, Battle Buddies. Amelia promotes her own website: www.ameliagracemcdonough.com to help educate about the difference between service animals and emotional support animals.
In her spare time, she is a competitive dancer and has been dancing since the age of two for a total of 15 years.
Amelia Grace has been involved with the Miss Florida Organization since the age of four as a Sunshine Princess. Her first year as a teen in the Miss Florida Outstanding Teen program she received the Rising Star award and in her second year she was honored to be fourth runner-up to Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen. The incredible friendships and mentors she has made while participating in Miss Florida Scholarship Program is something she will always cherish and looks forward to returning to every year.
Miss Gainesville’s Outstanding Teen 2023
Anna-Katherine Risalvato, Miss Gainesville’s Outstanding Teen, is a Senior at Arnold High School. Anna-Katherine has been a dancer for 14 years, and a competitive dancer for 10 years. She is president of the Got Hope cancer awareness club and National Honor Society for Dance Arts, as well as involved in National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Pep Club, Beta Club, Early Childhood Club, and has been a member of the Varsity Track & Field Team for four years. Anna-Katherine has maintained above a 4.5 GPA throughout high school and was selected to be a part of the Bay County Chamber of Commerce Junior Leadership Bay. She is looking to double major in kinesiology and dance and would like to become a Radio City Music Hall Rockette and earn her PhD in Kinesiology.
At 10 years old, Anna-Katherine founded a dance program at her church, “Passion Praisers” in which children are able to learn simple dance choreography once a week, and perform it in church services. They also had the opportunity to perform at "Relay for Life" and "Light up the Night". She wanted to expand her mission and started teaching ballet at Boys and Girls Club and Girls Inc. once a week. She saw the potential of the kids in her community, and decided to create a 501(c)3 non-profit, “Dance 4 All, Inc.” that is giving more children the chance to dance. Her non-profit provides year long dance
scholarships for the underserved children in her community. She has held two “Community Dance Showcases” to spread awareness and invited local dancers to perform their routines to fundraise for the scholarships.
She has been awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award from the White House, WJHG 850 Strong Student of the Week, and has won the Tremaine Dance National Teen and Senior Solo Overall High Score. She is excited to continue to provide scholarships for the children in her community and is looking forward to strengthening the community of dance. As Joe Tremaine says, “Dance Training is Life Training” and she firmly believes that Dance is 4 ALL! She is looking forward to serving and representing the community of Gainesville this year!