Judith Smith, Artistic Director and Founder of AXIS Dance Company, was born and raised in Colorado. Prior to becoming disabled in a car accident at age 17 in 1977, Judith was a champion equestrian. She transferred her passion for riding to dance after discovering contact improvisation in 1983. She has earned an international reputation in the field of physically integrated dance. She has commissioned works by some of the nation’s best choreographers and composers and has developed one of the field’s most extensive integrated dance education/outreach programs.

Judith has performed, taught and lectured nationally and serves on the advisory board of the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, The National Art and Disability Center, Dancers’ Group and Bates Dance Festival. Judith initiated the first ever National Convening on Physically Integrated Dance in 2016, followed by six regional convenings.  She was honored with an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Sustained Achievement in 2014, the O2 Initiatives Sabbatical Award in 2015 and in 2016 she was honored as one of Theatre Bay Area’s 40 people that have changed the face of Bay Area theatre. In her spare time, Judith is actively involved in thoroughbred racehorse rescue, raising butterflies and carriage driving with a team of horses.