Founder and Artistic Director
Sharon began her early training under the direction of Mary Alice McAlister. Since that time, she has studied dance extensively with famed teachers such as David Howard, Anne Burton Avery, and others. She has attended numerous teacher workshops in New York City and Dallas, Texas. Sharon choreographed sixteen years of show choir performances at Tupelo High School, founding that program with Dr. Tim Coker. She served as Dance Director for Itawamba Community College Show Choir Camps and has choreographed numerous productions for Tupelo High School, ICC, and Tupelo Community Theatre. She has choreographed and staged 31 productions of The Nutcracker, three productions of Sleeping Beauty, four productions of Cinderella, excerpts from Les Sylphides, a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and others. She has been instrumental in presenting various professional companies in performances and residences, including Ohio Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Chicago City Ballet, Dallas Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and in September 2011, Bad Boys of Dance. In 2006, Alabama Ballet and the Tupelo Ballet, under the direction of Wes Chapman and Sharon, presented a full-length production of Swan Lake. In March 2010 the Tupelo Ballet performed Giselle in cooperation with guest professional dancers from Ballet West and Pacific Northwest Ballet.
In September 2008, Sharon attended the Southern Arts Federation Performing Arts Seminar as a scholarship recipient from the Mississippi Arts Commission. In 2006, she was awarded Arts Educator of the Year from the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Educators. Sharon has served on special committees for Mississippi Arts Commission and has taught numerous dance movement classes for the Tupelo Public School District. She is a charter member of the Mississippi Dance Association, having served as President and Vice-President, and has been an officer and member of the Cultural Alliance of Tupelo/Lee County, now the Tupelo Arts Council. Sharon works closely with the Mississippi Non-Profit Organization, attending workshops and conventions, and is a member of Northeast Women's Business Association.
As founder and director of Tupelo Academy of Dance Arts since 1976, Mrs. Long's classical and theatre dance training has touched thousands of students. Many of these dancers continue to pursue dance and teaching careers. Former students continue to teach and share their love of dance within our own community. Sharon is committed to expanding her knowledge and understanding of the arts and its impact on our community. Her passion for dance education and performance continues to set high standards stressing arts education for future generations.