Artistic Director, Phoenix Dance Theatre
Dancer Sharon Watson joined Leeds’s Phoenix Theatre in 1989 as a performer. She became the company’s Rehearsal and Tour Director in 2000 and nine years later, Artistic Director.
Under her leadership, the theatre has grown from small beginnings in inner-city Leeds into one of Britain’s leading contemporary dance companies. It is the largest space for dance outside London and is the only space to house a national classical and a national contemporary dance company alongside each other. The company tours nationally and internationally.
Sharon was named Yorkshire Woman of the Year in 2016 for her dedication to diversity in the sector and commitment to progressing opportunities for Leeds and the wider Yorkshire region. She is a trustee of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, The Place, West Yorkshire Playhouse, and an artistic advisor for Central School of Ballet and Leeds Inspired. She is also the independent chair of the steering committee bidding for European Capital of Culture Leeds 2023.