Karen comes from a very strong training background in Jazz and Ballet along with studying other dance genres. She is a Senior Examiner for the American Jazz Dance Affiliation (AJDA) and a Registered Teacher of the British Ballet Organization (BB0) . As an Associate member of BBO Karen completed her BBO Teacher papers 2009/10, achieving Distinction for both. Karen also holds Solo Seal NZAMD Jazz, AJDA- Advanced Jazz, BBO and RAD Ballet exams to major levels.
Karen has taught dance in a number of studios throughout New Zealand, particularly in Dunedin where she became sought after as a choreographer and teacher. While based there Karen worked for a number of Production and Theatre Companies as well as teaching at the local Performing Arts School. Karen is frequently asked to facilitate workshops for Musical Theatre, dance workshops in Private Dance Studios for Jazz, ballet and performing arts, along with developing Choreography for their shows throughout the Country.
She has performed in numerous shows for many Theatre Companies throughout the country. Evita - specialty dancer, 42nd Street – one of the Angles, Karen was proud to be casted as an Angel as she was the only non “Tapper” in the group. Never actually taken formal classes in tap, but learnt fast. Me and my Girl – company dancer/singer. Annie Get your Gun – dancer/singer, Cinderella Lead role, Peter Pan lead role.
On arrival in Christchurch, Karen opened her own studio in Halswell, she also picked up her first TV job working on the first session of Wannabes for Whitebait TV. She then went on to teach at one of Christchurch’s well-established studios teaching Jazz, Ballet, Musical Theatre and Beginner Tap. While there Karen choreographed many songs from musicals for the Theatre Day Students as well as High School Musical. Karen had a long time contract with the Artist Doctors which gave her full creative license to develop, stage, lighting design and choreograph the highly successful and award winning Manpower. Karen held this position for 10year. At the end of 2008, Karen was pleased to accept an offer to teach at St Margaret’s College Dance Academy. Karen took the roll of Head of the Ballet Academy for a couple of years, then the College integrated the student dance club and created ‘The Dance Academy’ where Karen was the Senior teacher for ballet and Jazz.
As a Freelance Choreographer, Adjudicator and Examiner, Karen has a very busy timetable, she has worked with The Artist Doctors Association, Dance your Southern Sox off, AJDA Congress, Mark Hadlow and the Christchurch City Council, and was the Artist Liaison Officer responsible for Co-coordinating over 200 performers for Classical Sparks. She also supported the DF12 with movement for their performance section of ASB Classical Sparks. 2011 also saw Karen take a teaching position covering maternity leave at NASDA, at the Christchurch Polytechnic. This was also the year she opened her own Dance Studio Called Dance Now Studios. Unfortunately after the Christchurch earthquakes the studio was sold and Karen and her Family moved to Auckland, where her husband opened a second branch of his sound company called BounceNZ.
Karen and her family are now firmly based in Auckland where she has successfully completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Dance and Performing Arts from The University of Auckland. Karen is the Sole Director of Ruske Performing Arts which offers Jazz, Ballet, Musical Theatre, Dance Performance, Contemporary and Competition, singing, drama and much more. In the short time Karen has been based in Auckland she has choreographed for Auckland Musical Theatre production of Downtown, Amici and AMT production of Evita, New Plymouth Operatic highly successful season of The Phantom of the Opera, choreographed year 5/6 musical theatre dance involving singing and dancing at Owairoa Primary School involving 200 plus students. She held workshops in Hamilton, Wellington and Invercargill.
"I look forward to welcoming you to RPA and becoming a member of our Family" email now to talk options for your dancer Cheers Karen