Frank Epperson

Ballroom Dancer
Five Start Dance Studios


Frank Epperson is a two-time Paralympic and two-time world championship team wheelchair racer, a current ballroom dancer, and a lifetime advocate for people with disabilities.

During his time racing wheelchairs, he competed in many different countries as well as across the United States. He held the national record in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 400 meters and medaled in the 1988 Paralympics in the 4x100 meter.

After his second Paralympics, events happened in his personal life that made him leave/retire from the sport. He had to find a new direction, something other than racing. That’s when he finished his bachelor’s degree in physical education and found full-time work, thinking that part of his life (athletics) was over. Frank has worked as an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Employment Accommodations Specialist at Indiana University Bloomington for several years and has served on many different advisory boards, committees, and working groups over the years including ADA Indiana.

In 1999, he met a woman he was interested in who told him that she wanted to be able to go out dancing and do real actual dance steps. In response, Frank went to a dance studio that taught ballroom dancing and started what he knows now to be a whole new process of learning and exploration of movement and himself. Of the dances Frank really had a good opportunity to explore, his favorite dance is the triple time swing. He has performed this dance so many times that he is really starting to hit a bit of a wall regarding the combinations of steps he can do and so has started exploring the possibility of modifying different steps to that rhythm. That said, swing is THE dance he uses when he wants to tell a fun story, get people excited about moving, and consider possibilities.