Karen Gleeson was born in Dublin. She attended Inchicore College of Dance, receiving her RAD teaching certificate for Classical Ballet, 2005. She then studied Science in University College Dublin.
She completed a Degree Course for Modern Dance and Physical Theatre in 2009. Two years at Fonty’s Dance Academy, Tilburg, Netherlands and the final year in Koninklijk Conservatorium, Opleiding Dans - Artesis Hogeschool, Antwerp Belgium.
In 2009, Karen undertook two apprenticeships with, The Irish Modern Dance Theatre and Shakram Dance Company.
In September 2010, Karen completed a Masters in Contemporary Dance Performance in University of Limerick, Ireland.
In January 2011, Karen was granted a travel and training award by the Arts Council in Ireland. She took part in a three month internship with Movement Research Dance Organisation, in New York City.