UMKC Conservatory Welcomes Dance Faculty Karen Brown

The UMKC Conservatory is pleased to welcome Karen Brown as Assistant Professor of Dance, Fall, 2020. 

Ms. Brown (KB) is a well-known force in established dance. She is lauded at the highest levels of classical ballet for her exemplary dancing as a Principal Ballerina with the internationally renowned Dance Theatre of Harlem from 1973–95, under the direction of founding Artistic Director, Arthur Mitchell.

In recognition of her accomplishments as a world-renowned dancer, and her passion for teaching, Karen was chosen as a master teacher and adjudicator for the inaugural Dance Theatre of Harlem/ Kennedy Center Community Outreach Residency Program (1992–98). Through all of her career and life turns, one of the most consistent callings was a message to help young and emerging dancers achieve their path to excellence.

In 1997, Ms. Brown founded KARENINA to facilitate avenues for career advancement, increased access, and expansion for emerging and established artists by providing consultation and mentorship through all stages of career development.

Her intellect and artistic virtue were tapped again as Artistic Director of the Oakland Ballet (2000–06) and as the bridge Executive Director for Garth Fagan Dance from 2016–17. As an Assistant Professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, 2007–13, she taught all levels of classical ballet and shared her experiences and knowledge of the business of dance. In 2017 she was invited to Ballet Wichita as guest artistic director. Later that year she was awarded the Harriet Tubman Freedom Award. Since 2018 she has returned to teaching and her research in analyzing movement. Earlier this year, she opened the new Karen Brown International Coaching Studio dedicated to renowned ballet dancer, close friend, former dance colleague and benefactor Mel A. Tomlinson and the legacy of the late Dance Theatre of Harlem founder, Arthur Mitchell.  The studio is designed to be used for distance learning, coaching, choreographing, master classes and workshops, teacher training intensives in accelerated learning techniques for ballet application, private career consultations and movement presentations.

Ms. Brown worked with her friends at the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and became certified in all levels of the (ABT) National Training Curriculum. Her teaching style is also influenced by her training in the Cecchetti, Vaganova and Balanchine techniques.  She is also certified in Reinforced Motor Function for Ballet Application founded by Sean McLeod and she has founded the En Pointe Plus Dance Mastery Institute offering coaching sessions for dancers utilizing new computerized motion analysis technology. For more of her background information,

Published: Aug 4, 2020