Using movement to uplift and inspire in a difficult season:
A chat with Karen Kobel
In this week’s episode I am chatting Karen Kobel, owner of Kahlena Movement Studio. As the owner of a business that historically relied on in-person services, Karen had to pivot quickly when everything closed down last year. We chat about the challenges she faced in those first few months as she moved her business entirely online, and also what she did to stay balanced in her home life. Karen shares how her passion for movement and dance has been integral for her throughout her life, especially when things get tough. She shares different ways that she uses movement in self-care, and to help her focus and process.
Karen’s other passion has always been community, and her love of flash mobs and community dances is legendary. During the evening cheers for the front line workers, Karen and her dance class members would go to a local hospital to dance and bring joy to the staff and other cheerers. She also started regular visits to entertain residents at local long-term care and assisted living facilities. Throughout this season, Karen and her dancers has inspired so many in the community, bringing light in what can often be a dark time.
With a BFA in Dance Performance from East Carolina University, Karen has been dancing for the past 38 years, teaching for the past 25 years and performing for various artists such as Mia Michaels, Jay Norman, Marjon Van Grunsven, Tomi Galaska, Mary Carbonaro and Peter Grey Terhune. She has performed on the Regal Princess and Crown Princess Cruise ships, Madora, and with other local artists. She is a STOTT Certified Pilates instructor. She is a Simonson Certified Dance instructor as well as CI Training Certified instructor.
After discovering her love for movement and fitness, Karen discovered Pilates. With a focus on enhancing core strength and bringing increased reach, flexibility, sure-footedness and agility, it made perfect sense for her to pair her love for dance with her next love, Pilates. She has been teaching Pilates for 11 years, and continues to challenge her students with her various teaching techniques.
Combining Simonson Dance Technique with Pilates and CI training, Karen has created a unique class format that not only allows the body to flow from movement to movement, it allows the mind to connect to the present moment, leaving her clients feeling rejuvenated, renewed, and restored. Connecting to their inner “wonder” allows the client to feel more balanced and grounded.
After returning from Kenya and Uganda in November 2013, Karen realized the importance of tuning into one’s life purpose. After teaching women with HIV Pilates/Dance/Strength Training and listening to their life stories she now realizes her life purpose to inspire others, especially women to find their own voice just as she found after the past few years of focusing on finding me mine. Karen inspires and share her experiences with others in the hopes that it will help them believe that anything is possible, and everything is possible!