Karen Poolos grew up in Los Angeles and began dancing at a young age. At age 14, her family moved to San Diego where she continued her dance training with the California Ballet School. She continued training and dancing with the company while attending college. In 1983, she graduated from SDSU with a degree in Business Administration- Accounting. Immediately following college graduation, she left San Diego to join the Louisville Ballet Company, in Kentucky. During her two years with Louisville Ballet, she danced many solo roles in classical ballets, worked with numerous choreographers, and danced several Balanchine classics. In 1985, she returned to California Ballet as a Principal Dancer and began working as an administrative assistant and bookkeeper. At the age of 32, she retired from dancing to start a family.
Karen has been involved with SDAB since its inception and became the primary Business Accountant and Production Assistant in 2006. She continues to enjoy the combination of using her business skills while staying connected to dancers and her love of ballet.