Karen Andrew – entrepreneur, teacher, and performer
stories & testimonials
Birthplace: Brampton, Ontario
Principal training: The Randolph Academy
Danced with: Professional musical theatre performances including ‘Ragtime’ on Broadway, ‘Fosse’ and ‘West Side Story’ in Toronto
Retrained in: Business, Body Work
Currently: Entrepreneur – owner of Aurora Live Studios – teacher, performer
Having begun my training in ballet, jazz, and tap at the age of three, dance and performance have always been a huge part of my life. It was clear at an early age that I would pursue a professional performing career. I danced in my first professional show at the age of 16, graduated from the Randolph Academy, and went on to enjoy a highly-accomplished career including my role as an original cast member of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Ragtime, working with the Broadway icon Gwen Verdon in Fosse and landing a starring role in the Stratford Festival’s production of West Side Story – just to name a few! My career seemed to come full circle when I returned to Toronto from New York and was offered a position as a faculty member at the Randolph Academy. It was here that I discovered my passion for Dance Education, and that the entrepreneur in me took hold.
Not long after I began at the school, my desire to open more doors for myself and for students gathered strength, and I started taking the first steps towards creating my own facility for dance education. I remained on faculty while the seeds of my new creation grew. Running my own dance studio would allow me to merge my natural talent and drive as a leader with my love of dance and dance education. To establish the studio, I spent time researching and creating programs that would allow me to share my knowledge and love of the art form in the best way possible. The DTRC provided me with the means to learn invaluable business skills through a variety of courses as I navigated this new and daunting path. Along the way, I discovered that I not only had a passion for dance but for multiple forms of body work – once again, the DTRC was able to help facilitate advanced training and education in this field.
My career as an artist has had multiple twist and turns, and I am acutely aware of the positive role my love of dance has played at each one. I continue to nurture every aspect of my artistic life and career through ongoing education in business, arts education professional performance and teaching. I have the DTRC to thank for providing the tools necessary to launch my transition and the ongoing support throughout the process.