Born and brought up in Bournemouth, Karen competed as an amateur dancer in the UK to start with, but moved to America at the age of eighteen for two successful years of dancing. Moving back to England she partnered Mark Lunn and within six months they made the finals of the International Championships at the Royal Albert Hall, and for the four years they competed together, they finished in the top six of the major championships they entered. Turning professional in 1994, she teamed up with South African Bryan Watson, a partnership that was to last five years, competing throughout the world in order to be champions, as well as teaching and giving demonstrations, and were named “The most outstanding professional Latin American couple” for 1995 by the Ballroom Dancers Federation. At the time Karen retired from competitive dancing in 1999, the couple were undefeated champions of many championships.

Respect for Karen means she is now invited to be a judge in the competitions she had previously taken part in, and was asked to appear as a professional dancer again in Strictly Come Dancing. Initially she was approached to appear in series two, but she was pregnant at the time and had to decline. Without her knowing, her husband contacted the producers and asked them to consider her for series three, and she has appeared in every series of Strictly upto series six.

Speciality: Latin American
Height: 5' 6"
Favourite Dance: Jive
  • United Kingdom Open Professional Latin Champion 1997/8
  • International Open Professional Latin Champion 1998
  • World Masters Champion
  • International Champion
  • UK Open To the World Champion
  • British National Champion
  • Official Website: http://www.karenhardy.com/
    Follow Karen on twitter @Karen_Hardy

    strictly come dancing history

    Series Celebrity Last week Position Last dance(s)
    3 Bill Turnbull 7 6th Waltz
    4 Mark Ramprakash Final Winner Tango; Salsa; Show dance
    5 Brian Capron 1 13th Waltz
    6 Gary Rhodes 3 =13th Jive

    Christmas Specials

    Karen has competed in three Christmas Specials, dancing with Evander Holyfield in 2005 and with Mark Ramprakash in both 2006 and 2007.