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About: Staff: Dance Instructor, Karen Shackleford:


Karen has more than thirty years experience in the ballroom dance industry. She 

began studying and teaching social dance in 1978, and after taking some time off to 

focus on career and family, she returned to ballroom dancing and teaching in 1991.


Karen has studied with Mark and Dawna Nocera, Dan Radler, and Suzanne Hamby, and

has participated in numerous seminars with other dance luminaries including Ron Montez,

Jim Maranto, Jonathan Wilkins, Michael Mead, Toni Redpath, and Edward Simon among 

others. Prior to opening her own business, Karen taught a social dance curriculum for

studios in Greater Boston and Southern NH.


Karen has competed pro-am at ballroom dance competitions on the Maine and

Massachusetts circuits. She holds teaching certification from Dance Vision International

Dance Association (DVIDA),  LaBlast™, and the Professional Dance Instructors

Association (PDIA). Karen is the proud recipient of hundreds of skills endorsements

on Linked In.


In addition to International and American Style Ballroom training, Karen's repertoire includes

west coast swing, lindy hop, hustle, salsa, nightclub two-step and her signature program,

"Rock, Pop, and Latin Line Dancing". 


Karen's exposure to dance began at the age of five, with a theatrical dance program under

the direction of Mary Bertagna, former Radio City Music Hall Rockette. Karen has been 

choreographing and producing ballroom dance showcases since 1996. Her work has been

presented at six New England shopping malls as well as the Palace Theatre's production of

"Keyboard Lounge", the Bel Esprit Arts Festival, the Center of NH Senior Expo, and many other venues.


From 1999 through 2016 Karen owned and operated The Queen City Ballroom in Manchester, NH.  Her studio was the proud recipient of twin wins in 2013 by the Hippo Press Readers’ Poll:  “Best Dance Studio” and “Best Date Place”, and “Best Wedding Dance Instructor in NH, two years running, in 2015 and 2016”, awarded by NH Magazine Bride. 

In 2014, Karen opened Cape Sands Ballroom Dance on Cape Cod. Locally, Karen has gratefully accepted “The Knot Best of Weddings” award in 2018, 2019 and in 2020 for best wedding dance instruction on Cape Cod.

Karen demonstrates longtime support of various nonprofit and charitable institutions through donations of dance lessons, and providing showcases for events. Karen has one daughter, Nicki Tebeau, who in addition to full time employment in the field of behavioral healthcare, assists with the administration of special ballroom events. Karen’s hobbies include photography, music, healthy living, floral design, decorating, writing, and genealogy.


Learn more: Contact Karen.


Karen Shackleford, dance instructor

About Karen

about Karen
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