Bio

Karen Jacobs, aka KJ, is a hoop & fire dance artist based in Cape Town, South Africa. Since relocating from her native United States to the Mother City in 2009, she has been honored to light up audiences of the Vaudeville supper club and Fez Club, Cape Town’s premiere night club, and has also appeared with local companies including The Sunroom, SircuSynergy, SOMA Fusion Belly Dance, and ZAR Club.

Before making the move, KJ spent almost a decade working as a performance and production artist in Los Angeles, California. As a performance artist, she has worked primarily with multi-media performance troupe The Mutaytor, and a partial list of clients whom KJ has dazzled with them includes: Cirque du Soleil, Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Sundance Festival, Paramount Studios, Sony Pictures, E3 Video Game Convention, and the Special Olympics. KJ has appeared in several films, TV shows, and videos with her fire hoop, notably for Panic! at the Disco’s “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around…”. She has also worked with several other LA-based companies, including Cirque Berzerk, Fire Groove, Hoopnotica, and Lucent Dossier Experience.

Offstage, KJ is also a production artist, wielding clipboards and spreadsheets as her tools of creation. She specializes in live event production in extreme/unusual environments and has often worked behind the scenes to produce the events she is performing at, such as Burning Man Arts Festival, Coachella, and the Do LaB’s Lighting in a Bottle. She honed her skills working on the sets of some of Hollywood’s biggest commercial and video production companies, including @radical.media, HSI, and RSA, and learned to ride a Segway from Jackie Chan while working on “Rush Hour 3”.

Before moving to LA, to attend the University of Southern California and to study literature and communications, KJ spent 18 years training as a competitive swimmer in her native Seattle. The highlights of her swimming career included captaining USC’s 2000-2001 women’s team, and competing at the US Olympic Team Trials in 1996. Since discovering performance and hoop dance upon the completion of that career, KJ has continuously studied dance, yoga, and of course hoop dance in support of her art form, and includes fire fingers, fire fans, fire eating, fire contact, and aerial waist harness in her repertoire.

She very much hopes you enjoy the show!