Karen Long Charles received her B.F.A. in Ballet and B.S. in Computer Science from Texas Christian University. She also received her Masters in Education Administration from Georgia State University. Karen has performed with dance companies including Room to Move Dance Company (Atlanta, GA), Susan Warden Dance Company (Kansas City, MO), Pittsburgh Choreography Continuum, University of Kansas Lab Dance Theatre, Texas Christian University’s Ballet Ensemble and Modern Lab Dance Company.
Karen studied as a fellowship student at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre where she was selected to perform in the summer choreography workshop. Karen served as founder and principal instructor of Discovering Dance (Atlanta), and was a modern dance and mathematics instructor in the Atlanta Public School System for nine years.
Karen moved to Minneapolis in 2000 where she turned her focus towards arts education. She worked as assistant principal and co-principal at Perpich Arts High School and she was the founding Director/Principal at Main Street School of Performing Arts for seven years. Karen has choreographed numerous works for students at Perpich Arts High School and Main Street School of Performing Arts. She was also the guest choreographer for the Summit Invitational Dance Program in 2010. Karen was selected in 2012 to create a work for James Sewell Ballet as part of their 2013 Ballet Works Project.
Karen is currently the Artistic Director of Threads Dance Project — a contemporary ballet company whose mission is to examine, expose and celebrate the threads that connect us. Threads seeks to be a national organization that betters humanity through dance.