But fast-forward two years and Karen, 37, has been confirmed to return to the BBC One show, making it her ninth year and with the news that Kevin, 37 – who is dating his 2018 dance partner Stacey Dooley – has stood down, the future is looking up for the Venezuelan dancer.
Not to mention the fact that she’s now loved-up with international opera singer David Webb.
Karen and Kevin fell in love on live dance show Burn The Floor and later married, but announced they were ending their three-year union in March 2018 after work schedules were said to have put a ‘strain’ on their relationship.
Now, Karen, who has been a dancer for over 30 years, has a new outlook.
She says, ‘My priorities have changed – yes, I love my job but I love coming home, seeing my partner and my fur babies [dogs Betty, Marley and Phoebe], cooking and cuddling – things I wouldn’t do before because it wasn’t a priority.’
And it’s paying off, as she adds, ‘David and I are both extremely open about how we feel and I’m not afraid to be myself, but I can only do that because I’ve had five years of working on myself and I still am.’
How did Karen Hauer move on?
Karen says that going into therapy and talking to life coach and former Strictly pro Camilla Sacre-Dallerup helped her learn about herself.
Having identified how she often brought past issues into her relationships, she reflects, ‘In a partnership you should be on the same page, really listening to each other. But I didn’t used to do that because I didn’t know how to communicate or listen.
‘Unfortunately that ended my relationships in the past because I didn’t understand what was wrong, why, and what that person wasn’t understanding and vice-versa.’
Despite her heartbreak, Karen has remained good friends with Kevin, and she says it’s helped her feel ‘liberated’. She tells us, ‘We have a healthy friendship – it’s important to let go of anger and heartbreak because you can move on and that’s what’s helped me.’
She finishes, ‘If I went back to my previous relationships I would say, “I’m sorry if I never listened to you, I’m sorry I was this way and I wasn’t the person who I wanted to be. I just didn’t know how to be me.”’
✱ Interview done prior to the current health crisis. Karen has her own Hauer Power fitness plan, to find out more visit get.karenhauer.fit