Karen Kohn Bradley received the MA in Dance from the University of Oregon in 1977, and became a Certified Movement Analyst in Laban Movement Analysis in 1984, followed by further study in dance/movement therapy.
Bradley currently serves as Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Dance at the University of Maryland. As a dance scholar, she is a Past-President of the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD). Bradley sits on the board of directors and is Government Affairs Liaison for the National Dance Education Organization, and has contributed regularly to the development of national standards and to various research projects in dance education. She also serves on the board of the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York City.
As a movement analyst, Bradley has worked in dance therapy with learning-disabled children, in arts education research and policy, and observes and coaches politicians and business leaders. She authored the book Rudolf Laban as a part of Routledge’s series on Twentieth-Century Performance Practitioners. In addition, she has published book chapters, articles, and presentations on arts education, specifically learning theory and styles as observed and accessed through dance and movement. She has also choreographed, written, and directed for theatre in the Baltimore and Washington, DC communities, and is currently writing an online book entitled Ultimate Moves: Fluency in Your Other Native Language.
Bradley comments regularly in the media on political figures and their body movement, most recently in The New Yorker magazine and for The Washington Post, and has appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews and Inside Politics on CNN. She has led workshops on nonverbal leadership style for the Academy of Leadership Studies at the University of Maryland, where she is a fellow.
Bradley received an ADVANCE grant from the University of Maryland for a pilot study entitled "Your Brain on Dance,” in which she will work with Dr. Jose Contreras-Vidal's team at the University of Houston to determine brain wave patterns for particular expressive movement qualities. She is also part of the leadership team on a grant from the Canadian government entitled "Moving Stories: Digital Tools for Movement, Meaning, and Interaction." The project is a partnership between the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York, Simon Fraser University's School of Interactive Arts and Technology in Vancouver, BC, and the University of Illinois' eDream Center.
Bradley has been writing core standards for dance in the United States, developing a book chapter on dance and arts integration, and overseeing a grant for the National Dance Education Organization from the National Endowment for the Arts entitled “EVIDENCe: Evidence in the Value of Dance Education for our Nation’s Children,” in which current statistics, databases, research, and project reports are being mined for evidence of the power of dance to learning in children.
Bradley is a past recipient of the National Dance Education Organization’s Visionary Award.