Awards and Accomplishments
American and international team and solo dance, figures, group instruction
Sharon was born in Oakland, CA in 1944 to a father in the navy and mother who worked supporting the war effort. After moving around for a couple of years the family settled in Richmond, CA where her father worked for Standard Oil and her mother became a homemaker.
Sharon discovered sidewalk skating at 5 years old, and at age 7 was introduced to the roller skating rink located just 6 blocks from her home. She showed great talent from a young age, and began competing at age 9. In 1955 Sharon placed at her first Southwest Regional Championships in Juvenile Team Dance and went on in that same year to place 4th at the National Championships in Toledo, OH. In 1957 she started skating with a new partner, Robert Behrendt, who, as she says “could not skate at all”. While unhappy initially at the new pairing, she and her new partner went on to win the Southwest Region Junior Dance title. They also continued to grow their friendship, which eventually blossomed into romance. In 1960 Sharon retired from competitive skating, and in 1962 she and Robert were wed.
The two owned a floor covering business and raised two sons during a 20 year break from skating. After moving to Hawaii in 1980, skating unexpectedly became part of the couple’s life again, and they began a chapter of American Dance history that is unrivaled in success and enjoyment. After a few years of Classic level competition, Robert and Sharon moved into the Masters division where they become the most successful US dance team of all time, winning 10 consecutive National Titles. In 1998 the team of Behrendt and Behrendt were named the USARS National Skaters of the Year, the only domestic style dance skaters to ever have received the award. The duo continued their success with additional team and solo dance National Championship titles, as well as figure titles, capping their career with a gold medal in Veterans A Team Dance at their final National Championships in 2012.
Sharon now coaches at the Oaks Park Skating Rink in Portland, OR, where she has had multiple national champions in solo and team American dance, and is active in teaching group classes, including the Oaks’ Thursday night adult dance class. When she is not coaching Sharon can be found serving on the board of the Northwest Roller Skating foundation, checking the box scores of her favorite baseball team, the Oakland Athletics, and being “Tutu” (Hawaiian for grandmother) to her 5 grandchildren.