Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre, Sharon Watson, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Leeds Beckett University.
Sharon trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance and gained an MA in Performance from Leeds Beckett University in 2009.
She said: “I am absolutely delighted to be recognised by Leeds Beckett for my contribution to dance and the wider culture sector.
“As the artistic director of Phoenix Dance Theatre, a company that has grown from small beginnings to an internationally recognised contemporary dance company, it really shows what a talented and culturally diverse city we have, and we should continue to nurture these characteristics.”
Sharon became one of the first female Principal Dancers to be invited to join the all-male award-winning Phoenix Dance Company and toured with them from 1989 to 1997.
Sir Bob Murray CBE, Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, said: “Sharon has enjoyed a successful career within contemporary dance and we are very proud of her achievements. I’m delighted we are able to welcome Sharon back to recognise her contribution to the arts with this honorary award.”
In 2016 Sharon was awarded the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts’ Companionship Award from Sir Paul McCartney, the Sue Ryder ‘Yorkshire Women of Achievement in Business Award’ and was named ‘Yorkshire Woman of the Year’.
She was also acknowledged as part of the very first ‘Top 50 Power List’ at the Northern Power Women Awards in 2017.
She is committed to improving diversity within the arts by supporting the creative voices of women and black and ethnic minority artists.