Alice Sheppard, a multiracial Black woman with curly blonde hair, is photographed in black and white in an empty studio. She is pictured in profile, diving toward the ground while dancing in her wheelchair. Her arms are extended behind her and she is holding crutches.


  • Words Louise Bruton
  • Photography Ted Belton

On dance as a channel to commune with the body—even when it hurts.

Issue 47

, Well-Being

  • Words Louise Bruton
  • Photography Ted Belton
  • Hair & Makeup Avery Golson

Alice Sheppard fell into dance on a dare. Spurred on by a disabled dancer she met at a conference, the former English and comparative literature lecturer took her first lesson in 2004. Studying ballet, modern dance and wheelchair technique under the disability activist Kitty Lunn of Infinity Dance Theater, she became a touring member of the AXIS Dance Company within three years. By 2012, Sheppard was performing as an independent artist with Ballet Cymru, GDance and Full Radius Dance, among others, but soon she would take on a challenge of her own. Having founded the disability arts ensemble Kinetic Light in 2016, Sheppard’s vision as artistic director is to create work that connects with and draws from disability culture. Splitting her time between New York and San Francisco, two cont...


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