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Karen was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, and after 20 years away at college and career, in 2006 she returned to her hometown to be closer to family as she raised her son. Karen grew up dancing and performing in Cedar Rapids in the Follies, productions at Theatre Cedar Rapids, and The Paramount Theatre. She is an alumnae of both Cherie’s Dance Studio and the Dieman-Bennett Dance Theatre of the Hemispheres. Karen found Pure Barre during COVID-19 quarantine, as her adult ballet class was shuttered and she sought to find an effective total body barre workout. With Pure Barre’s focus on low-impact, high intensity movements that lift and tone muscles to improve strength, ability, and flexibility for every body, Karen was a convert and decided to become an instructor. At age 50+, Karen is passionate about ensuring that as people age, they do so with strong bodies developed through the building of long, lean muscle tone, without high impact. By day, Karen is the Executive Director of the Cedar Rapids Community Schools Foundation. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Baylor University and has spent her professional career in nonprofit fundraising management. She is a Past President of Junior League of Cedar Rapids and is mom to a 16-year old son.