Karen Hauer (formerly Clifton) is a professional Latin dance specialist and World Mambo Champion from Venezuela. She has garnered fame for appearing in the British TV series ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and the American TV series ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. She was also part of the cast of the live dance show ‘Burn the Floor’. A native of Valencia, Hauer began dancing when she was eight years old, after her move to the United States. She was trained at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. She learned ballroom and Latin dances at the age of 19. Her first television appearance came after she successfully auditioned for the sixth season of the Fox series ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ in 2009. She made it to the top 20 before she was eliminated in the fifth week. Hauer joined the BBC One show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ in 2012 as a professional dancer. She has been featured in all ensuing series since then. Hauer has also appeared in the companion documentary show ‘Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two’. In 2017 and 2018, she toured the United Kingdom alongside her former husband, Kevin Clifton.
Karen Hauer had her screen debut in 2009 in the audition round of the sixth season of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. Her dancing partner was her husband at the time, Matthew Hauer, who was also auditioning for the show. Although both managed to proceed to the next round, Matthew’s elimination occurred during the Vegas week. However, Karen was promoted to the top 20. In week 1, she performed cha-cha with Kevin Hunte to ‘Glee’ cast’s rendition of ‘Push It’. In the next few weeks, she and Hunte performed hip-hop to Dorrough’s ‘Ice Cream Paint Job’, hustle to France Joli’s ‘Come to Me’, and Broadway to Christina Applegate’s ‘If My Friends Could See Me Now’. In the fifth week, she paired up with Victor Smalley to perform tango to Orquesta del Plata’s ‘Montserrat’ and hip-hop to ‘Moving Mountains’ and was ultimately eliminated.
She became a member of the regular cast of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ as a professional dancer in series 10 in 2012. Her first celebrity partner was Irish singer-songwriter Nicky Byrne. Earning 26.6 average score, they finished the series at the sixth place. In the following series, she paired up with television presenter Dave Myers. They ended the competition at the 10th place. In her third series on the show, she collaborated on the dance floor with former footballer and television personality Mark Wright. That series, Hauer garnered 31.7 average score and finished at the fourth place.
In series 13, her partner was BBC Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine. They performed cha-cha, American smooth, Charleston, jive, waltz, salsa, tango, and quickstep before being eliminated in the eighth week. Her 14th series partner was singer Will Young. Her final ranking that year is the worst ever in her tenure on the show. She and her partner had to withdraw after the fourth week, ending the series at the 13th place. In the 15th series, she had chef Simon Rimmer as her partner. They danced the paso doble, waltz, quickstep, samba, Charleston, and American smooth. They were eliminated in week six.
In the 16th season, her celebrity partner was actor Charles Venn. They made it to the 11th episode before their elimination. She is the partner of comedian and actor Chris Ramsey in the 17th season, which began airing on BBC One on September 7, 2019. The live shows have been broadcast since 21 September.
In 2017, Hauer and her then-husband Kevin Clifton did a theatre tour of UK. It was a huge success and prompted them to do it again in the following year. In October 2018, she revealed that she was going to serve as a teacher and performer with Gorka Marquez at Donahey's Dancing with The Stars Weekends in 2019.
Since December 2009, she has been part of the cast of the live dance show ‘Burn the Floor’.
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Family & Personal Life
Karen was born on April 20, 1982, in Valencia, Venezuela. She was eight years old when she immigrated to the United States and settled in New York. Soon after, she began learning dancing. She attended the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance before receiving training in ballroom and Latin at age 19.
Hauer was previously married to Matthew Hauer, who auditioned alongside her on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. Following their divorce, she exchanged wedding vows with fellow professional dancer Kevin Clifton on July 11, 2015. After the marriage, she adopted his surname. On March 15, 2018, the couple revealed that they had split. In the series 16 of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, Clifton paired up with investigative journalist and TV presenter Stacey Dooley. They have since started dating. In April 2019, Karen went back to using Hauer as her last name. She has also begun a relationship with opera singer David Webb.