Jill Sonke, MA, is director of the Center for the Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida (UF) and Assistant Director of UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine. She serves on the faculty of the UF Center for Arts in Medicine, and is an affiliated faculty member in the School of Theatre & Dance, the Center for African Studies, and the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration. Jill is also an Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow in the UF Warrington College of Business, a College of Fine Arts Teaching Fellow, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Global Alliance for Arts & Health.
Jill studied dance at Interlochen Arts Academy, the Florida State University, in London, Paris and Athens with teachers of the Horton and Duncan techniques including Bella Lewitsky, Lynda Davis, Milton Meyers, Joy Kellman, Lori Belilove, Julia Levine and Hortense Koluris. She has been a principle dancer and soloist with Lori Belilove & Company in New York and a guest performer and choreographer with Dance Alive! and Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theatre. She is a soloist and regisseur of the historic works of Isadora Duncan as well as a recognized teacher of the Duncan and Horton techniques. Jill holds an MA in Human Services from the Universoty of Illinois.
With over 20 years of experience and leadership in arts in medicine, Jill is active in research, curriculum and program development, international cultural exchange, and is a past president of the Global Alliance for Arts & Health. Her current research focuses on dance and Parkinson's disease, the impact of arts programming on medical-surgical care and nursing retention, and the effect of music on cost and quality of care in emergency medicine. Jill is the recipient of a New Forms Florida Fellowship Award, a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship Award, an Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, a UF Internationalizing the Curriculum Award, a UF Most Outstanding Service Learning Faculty Award, and over ninety grants for her programs and research at the University of Florida.