Dr. Sharon Watson was appointed CEO and Principal of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in May 2020. Prior to that, she was the 7th and longest-standing Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre.
Trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance, she was one of the first female Principal Dancers invited to join the all-male award-winning Phoenix Dance Company, touring with the company from 1989 to 1997, where she choreographed Never Still and Shaded Limits. Having left Phoenix to pursue a number of other ventures, including setting up her own company ABCD, Sharon returned in 2009 as the new Artistic Director.
During her tenure at Phoenix Dance Theatre, Sharon has received a number of awards and accolades: In 2010, she was named as one of the Cultural Leadership Programme’s ‘Women to Watch,’ a list of 50 influential women working in arts and culture in the UK. She recently received the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts’ Companionship Award from Sir Paul McCartney and was recognized as one of the ‘100 faces of a vibrant economy 2017’ by Grant Thornton.
Watson’s recognitions are a testament to her continued passion and drive to contribute to the local and national creative industries through the medium of dance. She is committed to improving diversity within the arts by supporting the creative voices of women and black and ethnic minority artists.