Mark Joseph Sharon began training in ballet at the age of three in Southeast Texas. He was selected at the age of 15 by the Joffrey Ballet for pre-professional training in New York; however, a few weeks into the program Mark was stricken with brain cancer and left confined to a wheelchair. Inspired by the example of Agnes B. DeMille, he developed a physical rehabilitation regimen applying the knowledge of movement he had gained from years of ballet training. A year later he left his wheelchair behind and began working as an artist-in-residence choreographer at Southeast Texas Arts Council.
With his years of professional dance training and an enhanced awareness of the mechanics of movement learned from his struggle for physical recovery, Mark excelled at teaching both classical ballet and movement awareness. That year the Texas Commission for the Arts and Humanities showcased film of Mark’s dance company, Jefferson Jazz Ballet, as the dance component of their proposal to the Texas Legislature for state funding of the arts.
Relocating to Southern California in his early twenties, Mark taught and choreographed special projects for studio, stage, and screen for over two decades. He was commissioned by universities including USC, UCLA, and Utah State University to choreograph and lecture for special dance projects, and for years he was artistic director for West Coast Performing Arts Center in Mission Viejo, California. Founder of Laguna Beach Dance Invitational, he produced annual weeklong retreats designed to expose students of dance to a higher caliber of professionalism in classical ballet and contemporary dance movement. With this extensive experience, Mark has achieved a unique ability to improve advanced dance technique and to teach the healing effects of movement awareness in all physical activity.
Having recently completed a master’s degree in humanities with an emphasis on dance at St. Edward’s University, Mark now seeks an opportunity to teach his methodology to aspiring students in an academic setting.