Karen Smith

Karen is a member of the Body Control Pilates Association.
Body Control Pilates was established in 1996. Their mission remains to make the benefits of Pilates accessible to everyone through their international network of 800 qualified teachers.


Karen is also a member of the Register of Exercise Professionals. This is part of the government’s national exercise register which has included Pilates teachers since 2005. It aims to ensure that all exercise professionals are suitably knowledgeable and qualified, to safeguard the health and to promote the interests of the people who use their services. If you are thinking of taking up Pilates or any exercise you should look for a teacher who holds this qualification.

Karen originally trained as a ballet dancer from an early age and eventually danced with the Royal Ballet, the London Festival Ballet (now called the English National Ballet) and the London City Ballet, among others.

In 1982, during her career as a principle dancer with the London City Ballet she was seriously injured in a car accident, sustaining a broken neck which caused temporary paralysis. Unfortunately this brought her career to a sudden end.


Karen was introduced to Pilates shortly after her accident and attended sessions frequently. Her muscles, which had virtually wasted away to nothing during her stay in hospital, regained tone and strength, which in turn improved her general mobility and health. Karen also underwent various alternative treatments, including acupuncture, osteopathy, aromatherapy and reflexology, for which she now holds recognised qualifications.

Nowadays Karen divides her time between teaching Pilates and ballet and writing. Her books include:

(photographs 1978 & 1982)