is originally from Bakersfield, CA. She studied dance at Civic Dance Center as well as San Francisco Ballet School and Pittsburg Ballet Theatre School. She received her BA in dance from Belhaven College in Jackson, MS and has since served on faculty at Loyola University Chicago, The Academy of Music and Movement in Oak Park, IL, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's youth dance program, as well as dance institutions in Houston, Philadelphia, and Jackson, MS. She has taught ballet, contemporary, modern and jazz to students of all ages.
As a dancer, Karen has travelled extensively as a soloist with MOMIX and as a member of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. She has also performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Rubberbandance Group, Momenta and Hedwig Dances. As a guest artist, Karen has had the pleasure of performing with Ron DeJesus Dance, Ad Deum Dance Company, and Sandra Organ Dance Company. She has performed modern works by Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey, ballets by Asaf Messerer and Vasily Vainonen, and contemporary work by Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin, Doug Varone, and Randy Duncan. She has also collaborated with her husband, visual artist, Dayton Castleman, on dance works performed in Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles. Karen and her husband have two daughters, Anna and Zoe and son, Fletcher. Karen also serves as Dance Director at The Arkansas Arts Academy High School in Bentonville and teaches at The Northwest Arkansas Conservatory of Classical Ballet.