Name: Karen Mareck Grundy
Years lived in Columbia: 13
Original hometown: Las Vegas
Community involvement: Director of the Missouri Contemporary Ballet
Family: My mom, Barbara Smith, moved here four and a half years ago. We just moved into a new home together.
Relationship status: Married to Mark Grundy
My go-to cocktail: Kettle One and soda with lemon
My guilty pleasure: Red wine
Animal I would be: Cat. They’re independent and mysterious.
What I do for fun: Spend time with friends and travel
Most people don’t know that I: Want to be a scuba diver instructor in Australia.
On a typical weekday night, I am: Eating a great dinner my husband cooked — with a glass of wine, of course.
In a single word, I am: Driven.
The three questions I hate getting: 1. How are your students? Being the director of a professional ballet company, my dancers are no longer students; they are paid professionals. 2. Were you a stripper when you danced in Las Vegas? 3. When is your next recital? Back to the first question: As a company, we have performances or concerts.
The businessperson I admire and why: Jina Yoo. As another strong woman in business, I admire how she has sustained her restaurant and continues to serve wonderful food.
A favorite recent project: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Missouri Contemporary Ballet’s and my first full-length story ballet: Working with Tom Andes and everyone else involved was an amazing experience.
They’re making a movie about my life. The film’s biggest climactic moment would be: I’ve led a pretty colorful life with my 11-year Vegas career, from dancing in various shows to working in television with Penn and Teller. I met and partied with Liza Minnelli, just to name a few of my experiences. My decision to move to Columbia, which led to me meeting my husband, Mark, has been my biggest life-changing moment. Is it climactic? For me, it was.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me? Well, obviously, anytime a dancer falls on stage, it is embarrassing. However, during one of the Vegas shows I danced in, I fell off the stage onto a table, and there’s no graceful exit from that one.
If I were a crayon in a box of Crayolas, I would be: Red, my favorite color and power color.
The song that absolutely must be included on the soundtrack of my life: “Love Will Keep Us Together,” my favorite song of all time
My all-time biggest regret: I have no regrets because I live a life full of life experiences. I’ve been very lucky to have done what I love all of my life.