Karen Hauer is best known in the UK for being the longest standing female professional dancer on the popular BBC show Strictly Come Dancing (2004-). She has a number of dance titles to her name including World Mambo Champion in 2008 and Professional American Rhythm Rising Star Champion in 2009.
Born in Venezuela, Karen didn’t start dancing until she moved to New York at age 8, where she studied at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and The High School of Performing Arts, where she majored in ballet and contemporary dance before going on to study ballroom and Latin.
She is also a trained fitness instructor and health and wellbeing enthusiast. She runs her own online exercise and dance classes, and is as comfortable performing in a virtual space as a live one.
Karen has been partnered on Strictly… with household names including Nicky Byrne, Dave Myers, Mark Wright, Jeremy Vine, Will Young, Simon Rimmer, Charles Venn, Greg Wise, Chris Ramsey – who she reached the 2019 semi-final with – and Jamie Laing, with whom she reached the 2020 final.
She also partnered – and won – with Lutalo Muhammad in the 2016 Children in Need special and Ainsley Harriot for the Christmas special of the same year. Before appearing on the BBC show, she appeared on the American show So You Think You Can Dance (2005-).
Karen has been involved in numerous live dance tours, including ‘Strictly Come Dancing Live! Tour’ several times, either with a celebrity partner or as an additional dancer, she then had a sell-out tour in 2017 with her then-husband Kevin Clifton. In 2018, she was a principal dancer for the touring live dance show Burn the Floor, and in 2019 Karen and fellow dancer Gorka Marquez performed at the ‘Dancing With the Stars Weekend’ at Donahey’s holiday breaks.
In 2020, Karen and Gorka announced they would be touring a new production, Firedance, but unfortunately, this was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, so was rescheduled for 2022.
Karen has combined her qualifications in fitness and her love of dancing to create her own online, equipment-free workout programmed ‘Hauer Power’. She hosts regular online fitness sessions, dance classes, resistance training, Pilates and yoga.
Her love of fitness has meant she is a good choice for wellness campaigns; she is the face of Sports England’s This Girl Can campaign, a loyal brand ambassador for Re: Nourish, FRE Skincare and Barebells, and has partnered with Reebok, Special K and Battersea Dogs & Cats.
With several dance titles to her name, Karen has an amazing presence, energy and enthusiasm and is one of the most popular dancers on the current circuit.