Karen Hauer is a Venezuelan professional Latin dance specialist and World Mambo Champion known for her appearances on the British TV series Strictly Come Dancing and the American TV series So You Think You Can Dance. She has also featured on Burn the Floor.
Karen Hauer was born in Valencia, Venezuela, and took up dancing after moving to New York when she was eight. She studied at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and then went on to study Ballroom and Latin at the age of 19.
She participated in season 6 of So You Think You Can Dance and subsequently joined Strictly Come Dancing as a professional dancer. As Karen Hauer, joined Strictly Come Dancing for series 18, she partnered with Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing and stood second. She is also a qualified fitness professional, and was a personal trainer when she lived in New York.
Women Fitness President Ms. Namita Nayyar catches up with Karen Hauer, an exceptionally talented Venezuelan professional Latin dancer and World Mambo Champion, who talks about her workout, diet and beauty secrets.
A healthy morning ritual that you follow as a dancer?
I wake up and have breakfast; something like coffee and a bagel if I’m at home. Then I do a good morning stretch. Even if it’s just for ten or fifteen minutes it’s a good, grounding starts to the day.
You are a professional Latin dance specialist and World Mambo Champion. What motivated you to choose dancing as your career?
I found dance when I was young and it was a great thing for me. When I moved to America, I didn’t speak a word of English so I was trying to adapt to a new country, a new school and new home, all while speaking another language. Dance became my sanctuary. I got a full scholarship at 10 years old to attend The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance where I learned my craft and continued to study.
Then I went to the High School of Performing Arts – otherwise known as ‘The Fame School’. I majored in ballet and contemporary dance and received The Helen Tamaris Award for Excellence in Dance.
Share the best part of your career as a professional dancer?
There are different best parts dependent on what I’m doing. Strictly Come Dancing has given me an amazing platform as a dancer so I’m lucky that there are lots of facets to my job as a pro. It’s very rewarding when you meet a celebrity that cannot dance and they find a love for it through learning; we saw that with Chris Ramsey, my partner last year. He went from never having done a dance step in his life to really feeling his performances on an emotional level and that is a really special journey to take with someone.
And then there are amazing parts when I get to perform in a show with fellow professionals and dancers, for example with my new stage show Fire dance that we debuted this year. I have a lot of professional fulfilment through my shows.
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