Mariane Karou is the founder of Dance Alive.®



“I have a great life.  I love being alive. I love inspiring people to love their life and show them how they can. I’m not afraid of hard work, confrontation or of love and pleasure.  I welcome what is needed in the moment and go for it because I am downright determined to get up when I fall and just keep moving.  I always have.  So I’m qualified to show you how to do the same.”
~Mariane Karou



Getting to Know Me


I am your guide and I love life. I love to share with you what I know, and can lead you into deep spaces inside yourself because this is where I live. I connect to the source of Life when I’m active and when I’m quiet. I love to go inside and sense the space inside of me where the energy emerges from. This is where I get all my inspiration and guidance from, this open galaxy within me. This is my greatest resource and I have the ability to listen, to trust and to act with confidence on the information I receive. I have an uncanny sense of timing and am able to just know when to go where next. I don’t doubt what I know. I’m willing to act in the moment on what there is for me to do.

I live from my heart, have laser like intuition and I am extremely agile mentally and physically. I am not afraid to make mistakes. I’m a ravenous student of life and I absolutely love learning. I’m open to all kinds of input and use it to learn from. I’m very direct, honest and straightforward and I like it when my students and family give me feedback so I know where they’re at and what they like and don’t like. I take the feedback in, consider where it came from and use it to reflect on and see how I want to implement based on the new input.

I acknowledge myself regularly so I don’t need you to do that for me. I like knowing that you like what I did but I don’t need your recognition as that is something I give to myself. I won’t push it away, I just don’t need it.

I am a self-motivator. I get my motivation by having such a high desire to be a healthy, vibrant and compassionate human being.

I am inspired by everyone. Whether a person does something well or not, I use it for inspiration of what more I can be and how much more I can share.

I’m 60 years old and love my life and feel great about the choices I’ve made and how I’ve lived. I love getting older as I get wiser and have more freedom to really explore myself.

I’ve been married to a wonderful man who loves me for 33 years. What an adventure that has been! I consider my marriage one of my great accomplishments! I’ve learned and keep learning how to do teamwork with my husband. He’s my #1 life training partner. He’s supportive of me being me, living my life and running our family the way that I have. He does his part and I encourage him and I do mine and he encourages me. We have a great life together! And more to come…Yeah!

I’ve raised 3 fabulous kids who are now young adults and am very proud of the great foundation we have given them and how well they are all doing choosing the path that is right for them. I have trained them to be responsible, stand on their own two feet, make choices and make mistakes and keep learning, working hard and playing well. I have given them so many experiences and opportunities, from going to the beach, surfing, snowboarding, to extended family events, to all kinds of education from schools to business to adventure. They all have their heads on their shoulders and feet on the ground. I am now their cheerleaders as my job of life-proofing them has just ended as my last child just moved out. Yes to life moving onward!

What I love to do…

I love to explore all kinds of movement from deep internal to very active; go to classes, paddleboard at sunrise, swim in the ocean in summer and winter.

I love to be with my husband…and hang out in our beautiful, cozy home or in nature and just share space and relate.

I love to be with my kids…and their partners and give us all space to come together and move apart.

I love having a very large extended family all of whom live close by… on my side and my husband’s side…we share life with them also.

I love to work… so to let you know a little more since this is my bio.

I love my job, owner of Dance Alive.

I love to teach, to orchestrate movement so students have incredible amounts of movement in their lives.

I love my staff and studio and all my students.

My professional accomplishments:

I am the founder of Dance Alive, Inc.

I’ve been teaching full time for 42 years movement trainings including leadership trainings, business trainings, video workshops, etc.(too many to name)

I wrote a manual on the Dance Alive system (parts of it online in the archived websites) and on Take Charge Now.

I trained teachers in my work for 25 years.

I ran workshops at conferences, schools, and private trainings.

I co-created Movement Expression with my sister, Eve Athey Ray.

I worked with children for many years and created movement programs in schools.

I never wanted to travel professionally, as I always wanted to stay close to my family and home so I didn’t.  I turned down countless offers and resisted tremendous pressure to do more and produce more so I could have a balanced life.  I am grateful that I always chose that path.



“How I Coach is How I Live”


I, Mariane Karou, am your guide. I am an expert movement coach and guide you with my warmth, openness, clarity, direction, intuition and integrity.  I am receptive, jovial, and bluntly direct as needed.

Your are in masterful hands as my experience has allowed me to see with clarity the dynamics of relating.  I will let messes happen and then show you how they happened and how to clean them up.  If needed, I will intercept so messes do not happen if someone isn’t ready to see the mess they might make.  With the assistance of my experienced hands and hawk-like vision, I can guide you to understand through your own experience (not my words), how the mess got made, and how to clean it up.  I train you in this way to be a rugged adventurer – to be able to handle upset, to be able to meet challenge, work with change, be resilient and resourceful, and most importantly to trust yourself.  I am an expert at making lemonade out of lemons, calling a spade a spade, and making flow.  I teach you how to do the same.

I encourage you to get assistance where you can so you can learn up front what is needed and if not, it’s okay, you will learn down the line as whatever lessons you haven’t learned are still awaiting you.

I am respectful of your path and your pacing.  I teach you how to be respectful of your path and pacing, and everyone else’s too.

I’m guiding you to be aware of the whole, me, you, us and the environment and what is in the best interest of all of us.

I have a keen sense of integrity.  It is important to me that you are aware of where you are coming from as you relate. Are you coming from wanting to get or wanting to give? I want to give to you because I am full and overflowing with love and fulfillment and I want to share what I have with you.  That is quite different than I want to give to you so I can get acknowledgement, or validation that I am okay, that I am a worthy person.  I relate to you because I want to, not because I have to, not because I should, not because I’m afraid I’ll lose you if I don’t but because I want to.

I’m guiding you to connect with what you want to give, what you truly have to offer.  I know I can help you find that inside of you and I won’t give up until you make this connection with yourself.

Also, whether or not I share with you depends on what you are available to receive.  I use my feelers to sense what you are open to receive and what you are not open to.  I don’t need to push, force, coerce, or convince you of anything. I only keep paying attention to where you are open and give you the amount of energy and input you can receive, digest and assimilate and when you are ready for more, only then do I give you more.  That’s how I operate and that is what I’m showing you that works to create a flow of movement.  When energy is flowing, cooperation occurs and we can team play well together.

I am committed to guiding you into team play.

I am continually expanding my parameters to include where you are at, where I am at and where we are together.  Only through pure acceptance of where we are at can I take the next step.  This next step is clear to me and I guide you into relating and expanding in this manner.

I teach with a very steady, gradual incremental approach where you learn to slow down so you can speed up.  At the same time, it takes laser like awareness and fully alert presence to attune to the tremendous amount of movement that is already happening right now, within every interaction.

This is life. This is nature. This is movement.

All life moves.

I read evidence and witness the movement of life to find my cue of what is needed.

I use my knowing to lead.

I lead you to be able to listen to the knowing inside of you.

I am inviting you to reach deeper inside and trust yourself beyond what you know now, share from your heart and discover what an amazing person you truly are.

This is how you produce personal health and vitality, build healthy relationships, and establish, grow and maintain a successful career.

You need to be confident about who you are and what you have to offer.

I am here to assist you in discovering You to your next Level.

I am warmly inviting you to Awaken Your Vital Energy, and Take Charge in Your Life.

I look forward to our ride together!

With love of movement and love of life,

~ Mariane Karou


“How I move is how I live”


What I do is find the open space within me and around me. I connect to the open spaces with my awareness and move through the opening. I sense my breath from the inside and feel it as it touches me on its pathway in and out. I do not try to control or direct my breath. I simply listen to the rhythm it takes on as it moves through me. I find myself relaxing deeper and deeper the longer I pay attention. My whole system begins to reorganize into one fluid motion all connected. I am now open, receptive and available. This state of being is my baseline. There is nowhere to go, I am in no rush, I am the movement that is occurring.

I allow one movement to unfold into the next, one movement to inform the next, and one movement to flow easily into the next. I let my entire system be involved, attentive, and responsive to the deep pulsations of each breath.

It is from here that I initiate action. It is from the stillness that I deepen my breath and press the exhale out all the way and relax even more deeply on the inhale. It is from here that I initiate moving through my whole system incrementally.

I let my body be my teacher and my breath be my guide.

I feel, I open, I lengthen, I stretch, I pull, I push, I allow, and press against the floor, one body part to another or me with you…

My mind is aware, expansive and inclusive. I’m not trying to dominate you, nor am I afraid of (or resisting) being dominated. I’m not trying to manipulate or control you, nor am I afraid of being manipulated or controlled. I am inclusive of all that I am feeling and all that you are feeling. I’m not trying to change you. I am registering where you are at and playing music with you, dancing with you. You are the note that I am harmonizing with, the move that I’m flowing with. As I harmonize with your body’s movements and rhythms I find you are doing the same with me, to the best of your ability.

I include where you are open, resilient and responsive.

I can do that with you as I include where I am open, resilient and responsive.

I include where you are stiff, rigid and inflexible.

I can do that with you, as I include where I am stiff, rigid and inflexible.

I include where you are strong, connected and aware

I can do that with you, as I include where I am strong, connected and aware.

I include where you are weak, not connected and unaware.

I can do that with you, as I include where I am weak, not connected and unaware.

I am dancing with you where we can dance together.

This is where we meet.

This is where we can harmonize.

I am not trying to make us relate differently.

I am discovering where we can relate well and then I’m expanding our parameters, expanding where we can meet even more, where I can press on you, pull on you more, stretch with you more, open to you more and soften with you even more. So much is possible to do with you as we are now working together, not fighting, not competing yet challenging our own limitation with greater awareness and possibilities of movement.


This is the foundation of how I move through life. I do it everywhere. With me, my husband, my kids, my extended family, my staff, my students, acquaintances and strangers. This is how I move with everyone, it is how I move within me. I can only do with you what I do with myself.


To every person I have ever met, thank you for being in my life. You are my teacher, my breath is my guide, my awareness is my witness and my integrity is my director. I’m always on the map of where I need to go because my heart is pure, my love is stable and my devotion runs deep though all my cells. I love life. I love movement.


I invite you to join me in this world I live in and I can include your world.


“Hub of Dance Alive”


Maude Cleven is at the hub of all Dance Alive operations.  She is sharp, articulate, determined, cheerful, and has a tremendous dedication for delivering Dance Alive to the world.  She is the Program Director and is in charge of all Communications and all the teams that keep Dance Alive running.  She has the mental agility, emotional flow and physical stamina to assist Mariane Karou across board.  She knows how to generate movement and create harmony in personal relationships and business.

Ms. Cleven has always excelled in whatever she has taken on and has left each world at the top, constantly seeking the next cutting edge step where she could learn and contribute.  A rigorous academic, she graduated high school at 16 at the top of her class, and went on to study at Cornell University, Smith College and Sarah Lawrence College, where she concentrated in Literature and Dance.

She became a professional dancer and performer in New York and an advanced practitioner of Modern Dance, Ballet, African Dance, Capoeira, Butoh, Yoga, Improvisation, Choreography, Singing and Theatre.  After being offered placements and performing in several New York dance and theatre companies, she left the world of performance to follow a deeper calling.

In 2000, with a high intention to find a comprehensive system of Life Direction that included all aspects of being human – the body, emotions, mind, relationship and work – Maude discovered Dance Alive.  Having found nothing else that came close to its level of effectiveness and integration anywhere, at 20 Maude moved out to Los Angeles from New York directly from college to study Dance Alive in depth.

In Dance Alive, Maude has found a system that meets her desire for constant, dynamic and abundant education.  In the 13 years she has been a student of Dance Alive, during which time she has taken every class, workshop and intensive as well as received intensive private training from the founder of the work, she has never hit the edge of what Dance Alive has to offer.  In fact, the deeper she goes into the study of life through the Dance Alive system, the more there is to learn, and the more thriving, healthy and happy her entire life becomes!

From this powerful experience of personal success through being a student of Dance Alive, Maude moved organically into working for Dance Alive, where she has been on the team continuously for the last 12 years and earned the position she now fills.  She is an extraordinary human being that was born to do what she does now.

In her personal life, she practices all the principles and tools she has learned in Dance Alive with her husband, son and daughter. They live and breathe a healthy, vibrant lifestyle.



Melissa Finlan has been in charge of the Financial Department for Dance Alive for 12 years. She is cheerful, efficient and handles details with care. She works superbly as a team with everyone, and brings sweetness into what she does and whomever she relates to.
Additional Dance Alive Team Players
Many others assist in a multiple of ways.  Everyone works together with earnest effort, gratitude, and flexibility and are extremely responsive to each other.  This is what makes the team run so efficiently and effectively and makes it so much fun.  The Dance Alive team players are all happy to contribute, have great attitudes and fabulous energy so the atmosphere of the entire company is one of vibrant energy and co-operation.