Grace and athleticism take center stage in Jackson

Print Share on LinkedIn More

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, Mississippi Today/ Report for America

Marcus Alford, former student football trainer for the University of Alabama, center, teaches students techniques during the USA International Ballet Competition Dance School dancers at the Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center at Belhaven University in Jackson Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

 

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi Today/ Report for America

A student dancer warms up before training with Alford.

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi Today/ Report for America

Student dancers review ballet techniques after receiving instructions from Alford.

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi Today/ Report for America

Student dancers prepare for their next class after training with Alford.

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi Today/ Report for America

A student dancer stretches during a training session with Alford.

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi Today/ Report for America

Student dancers receive instructions from Alford.

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi Today/ Report for America

Student dancers practice techniques while receiving instructions from Alford.

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi Today/ Report for America

A student looks in the mirror as she trains with Alford, right.

Eric J. Shelton, Mississippi Today/ Report for America

Alford, a former student football trainer for the University of Alabama, sought out dance in order to help the football team prevent injuries but what he found is a career that has taken him around the globe.