"Karen is an excellent teacher, patient and professional...she just makes it so enjoyable!" "Her teaching is...inspirational"  "Absolutely wonderful."

Karen Michaelsen has been leading Circle Dance since 1997. Her love of music, rhythm and movement compliments her enjoyment of working with groups. Her clear and accessible teaching style fosters an atmosphere that is both thoughtful and fun. She has established a reputation as an "inspiring and delightful teacher." 

She leads regular classes in York as well as an annual programme of workshops and special events in York and the UK. Karen has also been leading residential weekends since 2001. Her experience of working with groups is extensive and includes a wide range of ages and abilities, in settings as different as schools, street festivals and prisons. She was a dance consultant for the February 2007 Out of the Blue Production of Mad Forest, a play about Romania's recent political history. Karen also writes and is a regular contributor to Grapevine, the magazine of the international circle dance movement.   

Having received funding from the Arts Council of Great Britain and the Lisa Ullman Travelling Scholarship Fund, in 2006, Karen was able to attend a dance seminar and tour to study traditional ritual dance in Bulgaria. Now specialising in dances from Bulgaria, Greece and the Gypsy/Roma traditions, Karen has also travelled to Greece, attending local festivals and studying with native teachers. She is available for taster sessions and workshops as a guest teacher.

In 2007, Karen and several other York circle dancers, founded the Community Circle Dance Association, (CCDA), a voluntary organisation to promote circle dance, particularly with groups who do not currently have the opportunity to circle dance. The CCDA received funding from Arts Action York and Awards for All as well as running numerous fundraising events with the support of local circle dancers. Since it's formation, the CCDA ran numerous projects in the community,  out of school clubs,  family sessions,   and working with women in a local prison. The last CCDA project, November 2014, was in collaboration with the Kyra Project in York. In 2015, the CCDA membership and committee took the decision to close the CCDA after 8 successful and exciting years. 

Since joining forces in 1998, Karen has worked with BEST FOOT to present varied Circle Dance occasions throughout the year. This has included Greek, Balkan, Israeli and seasonal events such as the Celebrations for December Festivals. They have led circle dance events all over York, from the Guildhall to the City Art Gallery and from Rowntree's Park to York Minster, among many other church halls and community centres.                             

The fab five, Bryn, Michael, Marcia, Lynne and now Christian, have a wonderful repertoire and more instruments than can be imagined. Their enthusiasm for Circle Dance music generates memorable and merry dancing.