Who is Karen Clifton? Strictly Come Dancing 2017 professional dancer guide

Strictly veteran Karen is waltzing into her sixth year on Strictly

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Strictly Come Dancing 2017 professionals: Karen Clifton

Age: 35

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From: Venezuela

Twitter: @karen_hauer

Instagram: karencliftonofficial

Strictly wins: 0. After five years of Strictly, Karen has barely inched close to the Glitterball trophy. The best she did was when she placed fourth with Mark Wright in 2014.

Which Strictly celebrity has Karen been paired with? Simon Rimmer

Simon Rimmer and Karen Clifton on Strictly Come Dancing

Who is Karen Clifton?

2017 marks Karen’s sixth year as a Strictly senorita, and she’s had something of a mixed fortune with her dance partners over the years.

Although making it to fourth place with Mark Wright in 2014 was a highlight, perhaps less so was finishing 10th place with Dave Myers in 2013.

Broadcaster Jeremy Vine and former Westlife singer Nicky Byrne also partnered Karen, and last year her celebrity dancer was Will Young.

Although there were high hopes for the pair to go far in the competition, Will announced he was quitting the show owing to “personal reasons” after three weeks.

Karen is married to fellow professional Kevin Clifton, who proposed to Karen on stage at a performance of dance show Burn the Floor on her birthday. Awwwh. 

Karen was born in Valencia, Venezuela and took up dancing after moving to New York when she was just eight-years-old. Soon after she won a scholarship to the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance where she studied African, contemporary and ballet before moving on to ballroom and Latin at 19.

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Since then she’s worked with the likes of Jennifer Lopez, and has won some of the biggest dancing awards out there: she was declared World Mambo Champion in 2008 and Professional American Rhythm Rising Star Champion in 2009.


Meet the Strictly Come Dancing 2017 professionals

Janette Manrara

Janette Manrara


Oti Mabuse

Oti Mabuse


Karen Clifton

Karen Clifton


Katya Jones

Katya Jones


Dianne Buswell

Dianne Buswell


Nadiya Bychkova

Nadiya Bychkova


Amy Dowden

Amy Dowden


Chloe Hewitt

Chloe Hewitt


Aljaz Skorjanec

Aljaz Skorjanec


Giovanni Pernice

Giovanni Pernice


AJ Pritchard

AJ Pritchard


Gorka Marquez

Gorka Marquez


Pasha Kovalev

Pasha Kovalev


Kevin Clifton

Kevin Clifton


Brendan Cole

Brendan Cole


Anton Du Beke

Anton Du Beke


Neil Jones

Neil Jones