‘My life changed when, in 2004, I saw disabled dancer Homer Avila take the stage. That performance and a conversation in which he dared me to take a dance class led me from my world as a Medieval Studies professor to a life of dance.’

Alice Sheppard took her first dance class in order to make good on a dare; she loved moving so much that she resigned her academic professorship in order to begin a career in dance. She studied ballet and modern with Kitty Lunn and made her debut with Infinity Dance Theater. After an apprenticeship, Alice joined AXIS Dance Company where she toured nationally and taught in the company’s education and outreach programs.

Since becoming an independent artist, Alice has danced in projects with Ballet Cymru, GDance, and Marc Brew in the United Kingdom. In the United States, she has worked with Full Radius Dance, Marjani Forté, MBDance, Infinity Dance Theater, and Steve Paxton.

As an emerging and Bessie award-winning choreographer, Sheppard creates movement that challenges conventional understandings of disabled and dancing bodies. Engaging disability arts, culture, and history, she is intrigued by the intersections of disability, gender, and race. In addition to performance and choreography, Sheppard is a sought-after speaker and has lectured on topics related to disability arts, race and dance. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and in academic journals.

Choreographer

Dancer

Speaker

For additional biography, please visit Wikipedia.

Alice is a light skinned multi-racial woman with brown, yellow and copper streaks in her curly hair. She smiles and gazes at the camera. A necklace of Autumn colored beads sits around her neck.

Photo by Beverlie Lord

Backwards, one arm stretches straight back; the other bends as Alice folds forward into her chair

Photo by Jenny Graham courtesy of OSF