Karen Hardy is a retired professional Latin American dancer, and is a former international, United Kingdom Open, British National, European and World Masters Champion. She was born in Bournemouth, Dorset.
She started dancing at five years old in Bournemouth. She competed in the United States for two years from the age of 18. She has won both East and West Coast amateur championship titles.
Karen is one of the most highly-regarded women in dancing today.
Before her retirement from the competitive world of dance in March 1999, Karen’s successful partnership with Bryan Watson saw them as undefeated United Kingdom, International, British National, World Masters, Open Italian, Yankie Classic, London Open and Osaka World Trophy Champions of Latin American dance.
Karen first took part in Strictly Come Dancing in series three, dancing with Bill Turnbull, when they were the seventh couple to leave.
Taking part in Strictly has been an amazing experience for Karen: “After appearing on Strictly Come Dancing, the dance world realised that I was back on the circuit, and my career has taken off again.
“I’ve not competed myself, but I’ve taught and adjudicated in some amazing places. I can honestly say in the past year, I’ve travelled around the world four times!’
Karen turned professional after being asked by South African dancer Bryan Watson. Karen and Bryan were the best in the entire profession in the 1990s. They have been named the most outstanding Latin American couple for 1995, and won the Carl Alan award for services to the dance world.
Karen married New Zealand actor Conrad Murray on the Greek island of Santorini, in 2003.
Performance on Strictly Come Dancing:
- Series 3 – eliminated in week 7 with news reader Bill Turnbull.
- Series 4 – first place with cricketer Mark Ramprakash.
- Series 5 – eliminated in week 1 with actor Brian Capron.
- Series 6 – will be dancing with the chef Gary Rhodes.
Karen’s official website: