Ladonna Freidheim headshot

Ladonna Freidheim

Dancer & Teaching Artist

Ladonna Freidheim is passionate about dance, inclusion, science, & joy! She is a formally trained dancer, experienced arts administrator, and disability inclusion specialist. After degenerative disability ended Ladonna's ballerina life, she recovered from surgeries with paralympic athletes. They taught her wheelchair sports and she taught them to dance in their chairs. With the aid of braces and a cane, Ladonna can navigate the world most of the time, but it is her wheelchair that restored her dancer’s soul. Ladonna performed with Dance>Detour, the first company in Chicago to be inclusive of people with disabilities, and is currently performs with the MOMENTA Dance Company. She also serves as their Treasurer, and is on the Board of Directors for See Chicago Dance. Ladonna founded  ReinventAbility, in 2014, to educate perceptions of disability, present inclusive events, and to share the exquisite joy of dancing!

Featured Artworks

  •  multigenerational and racially diverse group of four smiling dancers including Ladonna in her wheelchair
  •  Ladonna reaching one arm while surrounded by dancers, all wearing black
  •  multigenerational dancers, 2 in wheelchairs, bodies facing right with right arm reaching back and heads tilted
  •  Ladonna in wheelchair with one leg lifted, tilting back and supported by another dancer
  •  collage of photos including thank you notes from students; two dancers in a hip hop pose; student learning to do a sheelie; student posed on footplate of wheelchair as Ladonna reaches out; racially diverse group of four students smiling
  •  Ladonna tilted back in her wheelchair with one arm reaching towards a star on the nightime sky mural behind her
  •  Ladonna tilts way back in her wheelchair with an arm and leg extended and upper body supported by an older female dancer using a motorized wheelchair

Ladonna Freidheim has crowd-funded a project with 3AP

  • Veterans Reinventing Joy

    • $3,025 raised of $3,000 goal
    • 0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
      • 3Arts matched
      • 101% funded

    For veterans returning home with a disability, it is often difficult to see the possibilities beyond the limitations. With this project, I want to help veterans with disabillities rediscover their joy and potential. 

    Read more about Veterans Reinventing Joy