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National Dance Education Organization honors BYU dean

Sara Lee Gibb, dean of the Brigham Young University College of Health and Human Performance, recently received the National Dance Education Organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award at a conference in Baltimore.

“Sara Lee Gibb epitomizes the qualities implicit in the Lifetime Achievement criteria: exemplary leadership, research, scholarship and service to dance education,” said Jane Bonbright, executive director of the National Education Organization. “This is the highest award given nationally by the National Dance Education Organization for the contribution to dance education.”

As a performer, choreographer and scholar, Gibb has influenced dance education on a national and international basis. She served as president of the National Dance Education Organization for four years. As a coordinator for the $700,000 Research in Dance Education project, Gibb coordinated the efforts of field researchers in reviewing dance literature and research from 1926 to present and publishing a research review.

A professor of dance who has served as chair of the dance department and associate dean of the College of Health and Human Performance, Gibb developed the Dance Teacher Preparation program at BYU, founded the BYU Children's Dance Program and created courses in dance methodology, body therapies and pedagogy.

She served eight years as a member of the board of directors of the Utah Arts Council, including three years as chair of the board. She also worked with the National Association of Schools of Dance as Chair of the Commission on Accreditation and currently serves as vice president.

“Sara Lee is truly one of the most prominent leaders of dance in American higher education,” said Sam Hope, executive director of the National Association of Schools of Dance. “Her leadership in various artistic and educational settings, her cultural vision and her personal integrity are all well-known in the field.”

A BYU alumnus and a member of the BYU faculty since 1965, Gibb has completed teaching residencies in Japan and Korea and has taught in China. Over the past 11 years, she has fostered a unique partnership with dance administrators and artists throughout China. She also accompanied the BYU Dancers' Company on two international tours, teaching dance in South America and Australia.

Writer: Angela Fischer

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