With a BFA in Dance Performance from East Carolina University, Karen has been dancing for the past 40 years, teaching for the past 27 years and performing for various artists such as Mia Michaels, Jay Norman, Marjon Van Grunsven, Tomi Galaska, Mary Carbonaro and Peter Grey Terhune. She has performed on the Regal Princess and Crown Princess Cruise ships, Madora, and other local artists. She is a STOTT Certified Pilates instructor. She is a Simonson Certified Dance instructor as well as CI Training Certified instructor, 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification, Reiki 1, 2, 3 Certified.
After discovering her love for movement and fitness, Karen discovered Pilates and Yoga. With a focus on enhancing core strength and bringing increased reach, flexibility, sure-footedness and agility, it made perfect sense for her to pair her love for dance with her next love, Pilates. She has been teaching Pilates, Dance, and Yoga for over 19 years in Vancouver, and continues to challenge her students with her various teaching techniques.
Combining Simonson Dance Technique with Pilates, Yoga and CI training, Karen has created a unique class format that not only allows the body to flow from movement to movement, it allows the mind to connect to the present moment, leaving her clients feeling rejuvenated, renewed, and restored. Connecting to their inner “wonder” allows the client to feel more balanced and grounded.
After returning from Kenya and Uganda in November 2013, Karen realized the importance of tuning into one’s life purpose. After teaching women with HIV Pilates/Dance/Strength Training and listening to their life stories she now realizes her life purpose to inspire others, especially women to find their own voice just as she found after the past few years of focusing on finding me mine. Karen inspires and share her experiences with others in the hopes that it will help them believe that anything is possible, and everything is possible!
Karen was nominated for the 2021 YWCA Women of Distinction Awards for her work during the 2020 Covid 19 Pandemic. Her dance team, The Kahlena Curbside Crew, was born and started dancing outside various Seniors Homes in North Vancouver and Vancouver, as well as elderly people's homes for Mother's Day, Father's Day, their birthdays, pop up performances outside Lions Gate Hospital for the 7pm Cheer, International Dance Day, Nurses Week, and their annual fundraising gala. She was also voted into Impact Magazine's 2020 Top 10 Fitness instructors of BC and Kahlena Movement Studio has been named Favourite Pilates and Yoga Studio in North Vancouver by the North Shore News Readers Choice awards 3 years in a row.