AXIS Dance Company: Changing the face of dance and disability.  We accomplish our mission through three pillars of activity:  Below, a graphic featuring three overlapping circles similar to a Venn diagram. The circles are in hot pink, blue, and yellow, and where the colors overlap they create orange, purple, and green. The pink circle represents artistry; the blue circle, education; and the yellow circle, advocacy. Together these stand for AXIS' three pillars of activity.



The heart of AXIS is the commissioning, creation, and performance of contemporary dance that is developed through the collaboration of dancers with and without physical disabilities. Our artistic vision to collaborate with high profile choreographers and cutting edge innovative dance makers of our time was an excellent strategy that has resulted in artistically stunning and significant dance works. More than any other company in the United States, AXIS has been at the forefront of the field, building a bridge between contemporary dance, integrated dance, and disability culture.


AXIS' outreach program began in 1989 in direct response to community demand by those who saw our performances and wanted to study this new form of dance. AXIS maintains a more extensive engagement program than any other integrated dance program in the United States or abroad.  Our program offers opportunities and events for all ages and abilities and is the primary pre-professional training ground for aspiring dancers with disabilities.



As a pioneer of integrated dance, AXIS creates opportunities locally and abroad for people with disabilities to engage in dance by championing access, inclusion and equity for people with disabilities both in dance and in the wider community. AXIS is respected for its integrity on all levels of its artistic, engagement & advocacy programs. We have earned a place on the local, national and international dance stage as a respected contemporary dance company and we are securing our foundation to address the challenges and opportunities that role entails.


A sunny day at Latham Square in Downtown Oakland. Six AXIS Dancers perform with a tall, skinny building in the background. Dancers Julie Crothers, James Bowen, and Liv Schaffer leap in the background. Carina Ho dances in front of them, leaning back in her wheelchair with her feet in the air. Dwayne Scheuneman is beside her. He manipulates his chair to tilt at an angle with one wheel off the ground, his left arm up at a sharp angle. Dancer Lani Dickinson kneels in front of them with one leg extended to her right and her body leaning toward the camera. Photo by DavidDeSilva

Founded in 1987, AXIS is the nation’s most acclaimed ensembles of disabled and non-disabled performers based in Oakland, CA. In 1998, Judith Smith took over Artistic Direction, and visioning a repertory company quickly trajected AXIS into the dance world with a commission by Bill T. Jones. Under her direction until 2017, AXIS toured to over 100 cities in the USA, Israel, UK, Europe and Russia. The Company has received seven Isadora Duncan Dance Awards and has appeared twice on FOX TV’s So You Think You Can Dance, exposing integrated dance to millions.

In 2017, AXIS appointed acclaimed international choreographer and dancer Marc Brew to the position of Artistic Director. Marc Brew comes to AXIS with over 20 years of performance and Artistic Direction experience.

Alongside our artistic performance program the Company provides unparalleled integrated dance education and outreach programs. From recreational to professional training, AXIS builds access to dance education for people of all ages with and without disabilities.