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Kar-rying on Karen Byrne running online fitness classes after Dancing With The Stars axed

Singer proves big attraction for wannabe dancers

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Dancer Karen Byrne

Dancer Karen Byrne

Dancer Karen Byrne

Dancer Karen Byrne was devastated this year when hit TV show Dancing with the Stars failed to return to our screens due to the pandemic.

The show has made the young Dublin woman an Irish celebrity, and it led to her finding romance with hunky Liverpool-born singer Jake Carter.

It was the popular woman's main source of income, along with her dance school, which was also forced to close in the lockdowns.

However, Karen has come bouncing back in 2021 with the launch of her new online dance fitness and dancing classes.

And she is joined in the weekly workouts by Carter, who is proving to be a big hit with the ladies.

"We do it together and I think the women sign on more to see him than me, to be honest," Karen tells the Sunday World.

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Karen and Jake met on the set of Dancing with the Stars

Karen and Jake met on the set of Dancing with the Stars

Karen and Jake met on the set of Dancing with the Stars

"Jake, it seems, is the eye candy for the ladies, but I wouldn't tell him that. He comes along and gives me a hand, and it gives him something to do.

"Who would have thought that the pandemic would have lasted this long?

"We're still going through it and God knows how long we're going to continue to be in lockdown. I won't deny that it has been a struggle to keep going in the last year, but mentally I just had to focus on the fact that everyone is going through it so we're not in this alone.

"Obviously, Dancing with the Stars not coming back was a major knock back for me. It's a good six months of my year's work.

"Along with the dance school studio that's my life, and my work. But the way I looked at it, there are people who were worse off. There are about 150 people working on the show from riggers to people on sound and lights. It's such a big production.

"Those people are feeling it in their pockets this year as well. So many of them have kids and families and heavy mortgages to pay. I'm quite lucky that I haven't got a family that I have to provide for, I just have to look out for myself.

"So it could have been worse, but I'm hoping and praying now that we're starting to see the light. Hopefully this time next year I'll be on the show moaning about how tired I am. I'll never moan again," she laughs.

Karen told how she took the first lockdown last year in her stride because it gave her the chance to wind down after a couple of hectic years.

Along with Jake, she moved to Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, to live with country music star Nathan for a few months.

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Karen is running online dance classes.

Karen is running online dance classes.

Karen is running online dance classes.

"It was actually great," she says. "I wouldn't have spent a lot of time with Nathan because he was never home, he was always touring. At the time I knew him to have a conversation with, but I didn't know him properly.

"It was actually great to see him and Jake together.

"They have a great brotherly bond, there's great craic between the two of them, so it was great fun to spend lockdown there with them.

"And the three of us did keep each other going. If someone was feeling down one day, the others picked up whoever it was, and so on.

"Jake and Nathan are both easy going and great craic. They're exactly the type of people I like to be around, so it worked out well."

Karen says there has been a huge uptake for her online dance fitness and dancing classes.

She does the classes from her Dublin studio and has people signing on from as far away as Canada.

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Karen and Jake have been working out

Karen and Jake have been working out

Karen and Jake have been working out

She says: "I was apprehensive at first about putting it out there on social media in case people didn't sign up.

"I kept putting it off and then I said, 'you know what, if I get five or 10 in my class that would be great.'

"I launched it and the mail just came flooding in and people jumped on the idea. It was brilliant that so many people wanted to do it. I suppose everyone just wants to have something to look forward to in their week.

"One fella texted me and said he was a rugby player and he said, 'is it OK if I join with me nan to keep her active during lockdown?'

"If that's not the nicest message I've ever read I don't know what is."

  • For details on how to join Karen Byrne's dance fitness classes and dance classes email karendwts@gmail.com

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