Marcus Alford is in Jackson teaching and training dance students during the USA International Ballet Competition. But the former student football trainer who introduced dance stretches to Coach Bear Bryant’s football team is much more than that. This week, Mississippi Today photographer Eric Shelton spent time with the graceful instructor and the dancers as these athletes worked on their craft.
Eric J. Shelton was a 2018 corps member in Report for America, and joined the team as our first photojournalist. A native of Columbia, Miss., Eric earned his bachelor’s in photojournalism from the University of Southern Mississippi. He was a multimedia journalist for Abilene Reporter-News, chief photographer for the Hattiesburg American and photo editor for the Killeen Daily Herald before joining our team June 2018. He rejoined Mississippi Today as our health photojournalist in January 2022.More by Eric J. Shelton