EP. 5. In Conversation With Dr Sharon Watson, Top 50 Influential Women In Culture

Griselda Togobo from Novi sits down with a multi-award-winning leader Dr Sharon Watson to discuss her career journey and her experience.

You will learn:

1. Identify common traits of great leaders.

2. Discuss the importance of knowing yourself and your employees.

3. Discuss the importance of diverse and inclusive teams.



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About Dr Sharon Watson:

In May 2020 Sharon was appointed CEO and Principal of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Prior to, Sharon Watson was the 7th and longest-standing Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre from 2009 – 2020. 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. 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. Since then Sharon has choreographed Fast Lane, Melt, Never 2 Still, Repetition of Change, TearFall and Windrush: Movement of the People. In addition to proscenium arch creations, Sharon choreographed Ghost Peloton, the cultural highlight to the Tour De Yorkshire 2014. Choreographer for Frankenstein’s Wedding Live on BBC and presented at Kirkstall Abby. Also the choreographer of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, BBC six-part series.

In addition to her AD role, Sharon also lectured at NSCD and worked as Education Director for Northern Ballet. 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 was awarded The Sue Ryder ‘Yorkshire Women of Achievement in Business Award’ and named ‘Yorkshire Woman of the Year’ in 2016. She recently received the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts’ Companionship Award from Sir Paul McCartney and was recognised as one of ‘100 faces of a vibrant economy 2017’ by Grant Thornton. Acknowledged at the 2017 Northern Power Women Awards as part of the very first ‘Top 50 Power List’ and in 2018 Sharon won the First English Woman’s Award for Arts and Culture and was presented with an Honorary Fellowship by Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Sharon is a previous trustee of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and current trustee of Leeds Playhouse and Leeds 2023. She is committed to improving diversity within the arts by supporting the creative voices of women and black and ethnic minority artists.

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