Sara Lee Gibb

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Sara Lee Gibb is a retired Dance professor and former Dean of the now disintegrated College of Health and Human Performance. She also served as chair of the Department of Dance from 1995 to 1999. At the August 2012 convocation of the College of Fine Arts and Communications. Gibb received the Franklin S. Harris Award and also addressed the graduates.

Gibb graduated from BYU in 1959 with a degree in Speech and Drama. In 1970 she completed a master’s degree in Physical Education. As faculty at BYU, Gibb served as director of the modern dance division, Chairwoman of the dance department and Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Performance prior to filling the position as Dean. Through these administrative positions Gibb has had a substantial impact on the structure of the department. She developed the university’s Dance Teacher Preparation program, founded the BYU Children's Dance Program in 1967, and created courses in dance methodology, body therapies, and pedagogy. Gibb served as Dean from 2005 until she retired in 2009.

Gibb has worked as a performer, choreographer, and scholar and has influenced dance education around the world. She served as president of the National Dance Education Organization from 2003-2005 and was also a member of the Board of Director's since the organization's inception in 1998. She also oversaw the efforts of field researchers in reviewing dance literature from 1926 to present and in publishing a research review as part of a $700,000 Research in Dance Education project. Additionally, Sara Lee was president of the National Dance Association and served six years as the United States Representative for daCi (Dance and the Child International), and was instrumental in starting the daCi USA Chapter where she continued on the board for three years.

Gibb has been a keynote speaker and has taught residencies in Japan, Korea, and New Zealand. Over the last fifteen years she was invited to teach summer courses and workshops and present lectures and seminars in a variety of settings in China. In 2004, 2006, and 2007 Gibb hosted three ‘BYU Leadership in Arts Education’ conferences for Chinese arts leaders, bringing 92 distinguished guests to BYU.

Sara Lee served eight years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Utah Arts Council, including three years as Chairwoman 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 President.

Professor Gibb has received multiple honors and awards throughout her career, including the BYU Dance Department Honored Alumni Award (1999), the Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Teaching Award (1987), Dance Professional of the Year Award (1997), Outstanding Leadership Award from the National Dance Education Organization (2006), and many more. Additionally, in 2008 Gibb received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Dance Education Organization.


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