Karen Mareck GrundyArtistic/Executive Director
As the Artistic/Executive Director of Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Karen Grundy says her goal is, “to give dancers a positive yet disciplined space to discover their center core and expand their hearts and minds, while also allowing them to explore diverse styles of dance.”
Karen’s unique experience is reflected in her fresh and innovative style, which combines her classical ballet and modern dance training with a twist from the productions of Las Vegas, resulting in work that’s accessible to all.
Born and raised in Vegas, Karen began dance training at the age of 3. By age 8, she was training in modern dance with Ronnie Greenblatt, who trained under Martha Graham.
Karen’s extensive classical ballet and jazz training was under the direction of Inez Mourning and Belinda DeBecker. Her love of contemporary ballet was discovered in working side by side with L. J. Ballard as a dancer and as an assistant choreographer.
Karen has been a member and featured dancer in various dance companies including Opus Dance Ensemble, New Works Project, and Ballard’s Cafe Dance Co. She performed in Las Vegas for 11 years as a featured and lead dancer, and also worked in television. During this time, while working with various choreographers, she was also fortunate to work closely under the direction of Ron Lewis, director and choreographer for Liza Minnelli. Grundy has taught master classes throughout the country and as an assistant for choreographer Tiger Martina.
In 2000, Karen was recruited to Columbia, Missouri to teach at Columbia Performing Arts Centre, where she taught for 9 years.
She has trained dancers who have gone on to The Juilliard School, The Lines School, Dance Kaleidoscope, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and Broadway!
Her dream was always to have her own company and, before starting Missouri Contemporary Ballet in 2006, she was the Artistic Director for Cedar Lake II.
Through MCB, Karen is thrilled to be able to create her vision while collaborating with artists of all genres, and the many supporters of dance in Columbia, across the state of Missouri, and throughout the Country.