Stepping up for dance success in Leeds

Sharon Watson.
Sharon Watson.
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Over the years Sharon Watson has jumped at the chance to inspire a generation to dance.

The artistic director of Phoenix Dance Theatre, which is the UK’s longest standing contemporary dance company outside London, has spearheaded the drive to get young people en-pointe across the city.

Sharon, who has also been recently appointed as the independent chair of the steering committee bidding for European Capital of Culture Leeds 2023, has been nominated for her passion and enthusiasm to inspire others.

Sharon has been nominated in Sue Ryder’s Women of Achievement Awards for her tireless efforts behind the scenes to boost the city’s cultural offerings.

She said: “I left Leeds at 16 to go to London to develop my training, but it was a teacher at Harehills Middle School who gave me the inspiration to know I could be a professional performer.”

The dancer said she was “absolutely shocked” to be nominated in the Yorkshire Evening Post-backed awards.

She added: “It was an honour to be appointed on the committee for the Capital of Culture bid, especially coming from a dance background and as a female.

“But I’m delighted to be in a role in which I’ll be standing up for our city.”

The celebration, which marks its 30th anniversary this year, recognises the inspirational work of the county’s unsung heroines.

The awards ceremony will be held at the New Dock Hall, at the Royal Armouries, on Friday, May 20.

Tickets cost £50 each or £450 for a table of ten.

For more information about attending the event, contact Katie Bell on 0113 2033 376 or visit