Karen Donovan

Born in Rockhampton, Queensland, Karen studied ballet at the Valerie Hansen Academy of Dancing from the age of four for twelve years, achieving Honours in all her Royal Academy of Dance ballet exams as well as gaining her Solo Seal.

In 1978 she started two years of training at the Royal Ballet School in London winning the Bronze Medal in the Adeline Genee Competition that year.  In her Graduation Performance at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden the following year, she danced one of the three lead roles (Gypsy Girl) in Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Two Pigeons and also performed a Pas de Deux from Bournonville’s Flower Festival at Genzano.

In 1980 she was accepted into Sadlers’ Wells Royal Ballet (SWRB) – now Birmingham Royal Ballet – under the direction of Sir Peter Wright, making her way up through the ranks of the Company and being promoted to Principal Dancer in 1987.

Over the eleven years with the Company, she performed a varied repertoire not only in London but throughout the United Kingdom and in many countries around the world.  Some of her many roles included Aurora (Sleeping Beauty); Odette/Odile (Swan Lake); Lise (La Fille Mal Gardee); Swanhilda (Coppelia); Sugar Plum Fairy (Nutcracker); the title roles in Giselle and Pineapple Poll; Gypsy Girl (The Two Pigeons) and leading ballerina in both Paquita and Theme & Variations.


After eleven years with SWRB, Karen made the difficult decision to leave the Company and pursue other avenues such as working at the Royal Ballet School for three years while having a family; training and gaining several qualifications and a National Vocational Qualification as a Fitness Instructor where she taught in adult education in the UK for eleven years. She also taught ballet classes including solo and repertoire work.

After 31 years of living in London, she returned to Australia with her family in August 2009.  In September 2010, she was one of the judges for the RAD Jacqueline Morland Awards in Brisbane, and in July 2011, one of the judges for the MacDonald Scholarship Awards in Sydney.  Karen is very much enjoying the chance to pass on to a younger generation the wealth of knowledge she gained from many years of performances.

Annette Roselli Dance Academy is based at Tingalpa.

ARDA's studio in Tingalpa
1/27 Millennium Place, Tingalpa

Ph: 0400 664 661

E: admin@annetteroselliballet.com.au

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