School Programs
Karen brings a variety of offerings to schools and students of all grade levels.

Assembly Programs
Workshops in Mime and Movement
Dance Residencies
Imagination in Action Study Guide
Education & Inspiring Children Through the Arts by Karen Montanaro
Additional Information

Assembly Image (Hands)
Karen Performing at Auburn Middle School (October 2006)

Photocredit: LA Arts (
Assembly Program (Soccer)
Karen Performing with Liz Rollins,
Director of Music & Theater

Photocredit: LA Arts (

Assembly Program (Lizard)
Photocredit: LA Arts (
Assembly Program (Questions)
Photocredit: LA Arts (


- stories through movement
- integration into curriculum
- faculty participation

Over the past fifteen years, Karen Montanaro has performed in hundreds of schools both as a soloist and in partnership with master mime Tony Montanaro. Using material drawn from her full evening concerts, Karen entertains and educates students about the art forms of mime and dance and uses her phenomenal technique and control in both ballet and performance-mime to tell stories through movement.

A study guide is available for pre-show and post-show discussions.

As a special feature for school programs, the principal (or a teacher or student) is invited to perform a comic duet with Karen. The sketch takes a hilarious look at the game of soccer. Simple instructions will be sent ahead, and Karen will meet and rehearse with the volunteer shortly before the performance. The sketch is short and easy to learn, and the results are outrageously funny!

Read what educators have to say...

"Karen's one-of-a-kind performance combines the grace, poise, and style of a professional ballet dancer with the drama, humor, and excitement of an accomplished mime. In one segment, she becomes a fearsome tiger, and the artistic tension of the audience was palpable. Lastly, her program is cerebral. Students had to construct the meaning of her stories as she transformed herself from one character to another."

- Dr. Mary Ellen Toscano,
Principal, Parkview Elementary School


"How impeccably magnificent!... I have never in three years here nor in all my 30 years of experience been witness to a group of students and adults being so spellbound, engaged and involved in a highly creative yet relevant theatrical performance! For sharing your gift, talent and enthusiasm for the arts, I thank you on behalf of all students and staff."

- Barbara Galvin, EDCO Collaborative


"Karen's performance was superb. It was both instructive and entertaining. She was solo on stage for over an hour and held over two hundred people in the palm of her hand. The simplicity and the complexity of her work was mesmerizing. She offered inspiration to any child who thinks they might want to dance or mime. I was most impressed with Karen and her work."

- Toby Weinberger
Upper School Coordinator
Bank Street School for Children, New York City


Assembly Image (Leg)
Photocredit: LA Arts (


"As soon as we saw Karen's exceptional ability to motivate our students and engage their imaginations, the Sea Road School immediately hired her back for next year."

- Maureen Fulford, EducatorSea Road School, Kennebunk, Maine

Selected articles on Karen's Teaching:

Students Learn to Mime Their Manners
(Reprinted from The Portland Press Herald)

Mime Helps Students Unlock Inner Treasure
(Reprinted from The Star-Herald)

Mime-dance Creates Gales of Audible Laughter
(Reprinted from

Artist in Residency Program
(Reprinted from Maine Arts Magazine)

Montanaro Aims to Start a Movement
(Reprinted from the Maine Sunday Telegram)

A Visit to Sanford
(Reprinted from Argy Nestor's MEARTSED Blog)

Bringing Magic
(By David Treadwell, Times Record)

Education Reform Seen Through The Eyes of a Mime-Dancer
(By Karen Montanaro)

Assembly Image (Leg)
Karen teaching at York Middle School
(April 2008)

(One or Two Weeks)

Karen offers residencies to students K - 12, providing students with techniques for focusing, improving their attention span and achieving goals. Residencies include performances and workshops and are tailored to meet the needs of students. Schools in Maine are eligible to receive a Partners in Arts and Learning grant through the Maine Arts Commission!

Using the vocabulary of mime, dance, and improvisation, students experience and express moods, feelings, and states-of-mind in exciting new ways.

"Words cannot convey the amount of respect that I have for Karen Montanaro's work in schools. Her passion for movement and dance instruction is compelling; her instruction and communications with the students are clear and direct; and failure is not part of her vocabulary. Dance is a part of our culture, and I believe that providing students with dance instruction can lead to life-long skills and increased physical activity."

- Norma Richards
Principal, Raymond Elementary School
Raymond, Maine

(Click here to read the full letter of recommendation from Norma Richards.)


"They (the students) were completely involved. They became unaware of themselves and they became performers.... I was astounded she (Karen Montanaro) was able to do that, and I was completely moved."

- Martha Spencer
Third grade school teacher,
Raymond Elementary School
Raymond, Maine

(Click here to read the full article Montanaro Aims to Start a Movment.)


"I have been a basketball coach for 25 years for a range of age groups. Most recently I have been coaching elementary school aged children in the Lakes Region. I had the opportunity to come see a number of my young athletes perform your dance program last week at Songo Locks, and I was very impressed. You did a wonderful job with the children and it showed in their performance as well as on their faces... My son showed a real excitement for the opportunity to perform. I rarely see that much enthusiasm in him anywhere except the basketball court... Again: Thank you very much for your time with the Songo Locks 4th graders. It was a wonderfully entertaining performance and a great experience for them."

- Brian Crockett
Basketball Coach
Songo Locks


Imagination In Action Study Guide:
(click image to view/download .pdf file)

InAction Study Guide

Featuring discussion topics and learning results, the study guide helps you integrate Karen's performance into your curriculum.

Click here for more information.


From Kindergarten through High School and Beyond by KAREN MONTANARO
(click image to view/download .pdf file)

Education & Inspiring Children Through the Arts

Karen believes that our educational system is poised on the brink of an unprecedented advance . . . a transformation based on a careful definition of “art” and a brand new approach to arts education. This article lays the foundation for that approach.

Click here to view and download PDF.


Click to read more about:

Karen Montanaro
Study Guide
Sample Program
Artist in Residency Program
What they're saying...
Booking Information


Through the Ram Island Trust Foundation and Robert and Millicent Monks, Karen recently received a generous endowment towards a two week workshop at the National Dance Institute in New York City. As a teacher-in-training, Karen will practice the NDI pedagogy during three residencies at local schools this Spring.

It takes years and years of practice to earn the esteemed distinction of being an NDI teacher. For more information, visit the NDI website (


Karen's Public Speaking Program

New Promo Pics Click Here!
Photocredit: George C. Anderson

Karen on stool image

A Visit to Sanford (News Article)
Photocredit: Argy Nestor

Students Learn Mime

Bringing Magic (News Article)
Photocredit: Times Record

School Assemblies Image
School Assemblies Click Here!
Photocredit: The Sun Journal

DVD Ad Image

Struggle to Be Image

A Dance To Touch The Soul

Concert Image
Concerts CLICK HERE!

Karen Teaching
Workshops CLICK HERE!

Tanzspiel Poster

Presenter Resources CLICK HERE!

Karen with Marcel Marceau
Karen with Marcel Marceau
Read More in "Backstage"