Karen Brown spent 22 years traveling around the world as a principal ballerina, featured artist, master teacher and lecturer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) under the direction of legendary founder, Arthur Mitchell. From the inception of DTH’s Kennedy Center Community Outreach Residency in Washington, D.C., she was a master teacher and adjudicator for the groundbreaking and innovative community-focused program. Ms. Brown’s immediate transition from active performer with DTH was to the Director of Education at the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education (ABCDE).
Her background as a master teacher includes teaching classes and workshops at colleges, universities and dance schools throughout Eastern and Western Europe, North and Central America, the Pacific Rim, Egypt, and South Africa. Ms. Brown has been certified as an ABT® Teacher in Pre-Primary through Level 7. She is certified in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd years of the Vaganova Syllabus with John White in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She is also certified in Reinforced Motor. Function for Ballet Application (RMF) founded by Sean McLeod and has recently founded the En Pointe Plus Dance Mastery Institute (EPP), a division of Karenina, Inc. (founded in 1997) offering coaching sessions for dancers utilizing new computerized motion analysis technology and accelerated learning techniques. Prior to joining the University of the Arts (UARTS) in Philadelphia as Assistant Professor of Dance (2007 – 2013), Brown served for six years as Artistic Director of Oakland Ballet Company in California (2000 – 2006).
Throughout her career, Ms. Brown has received numerous awards, including the 2018 New York Institute of Dance and Education Harriet Tubman Award. In 2010, she earned the New York Dance and Performance Award; “The Bessie” Award for Sustained Achievement in Performance” as a company member with Paradigm, Dance Legends in Concert (NYC). She has been an Executive Director for Garth Fagan Dance in Rochester, New York and a Guest Artistic Director of Ballet Wichita in Wichita, Kansas where she and black choreographer Sean McLeod set a new Nutcracker Ballet on the company. In celebration of Juneteenth 2020, Ms. Brown opened the Karen Brown Coaching Studio dedicated to renowned ballet dancer, close friend, former dance colleague and benefactor, the late Mel A. Tomlinson and the studio also honors the legacy of the late DTH founder Arthur Mitchell. In fall 2020, she was hired as a new Assistant Professor of Ballet at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory.