Degrees and Certifications:
Ms. Deborah Karp-Castranze
Hello Mississippi dancers and families,
My name is Ms. Karp (she/her) and it’s my privilege to be the dance teacher for the incredible students of Mississippi Creative Arts School! It’s an honor to witness the joy, creativity, discovery and hard-work that happens every day in the dance studio.
My Goals as Dance Educator: As a dancer, choreographer, and dance educator, my goals for my students are to develop a foundational understanding of the dance elements Body, Action, Space, Time and Energy; to use this understanding and apply to it other aspects of their academic learning; to advance this understanding to choreograph their own dance compositions; to develop a long-lasting sense of dance as a tool for meaning-making in their lives beyond the school years.
A Little Bit About Ms. Karp (she/her): I have been a dancer all my life, and my passion for dancing, choreographing and dance-teaching has zigged-zagged me across the country, from California, to Washington DC, to New York, back to California, to Minnesota to the fantastic community of Mississippi families here in St. Paul! I have performed on big stages, in tiny theaters, on roof tops, in fancy theaters and raw warehouses. I have taught in schools, public libraries, universities, community centers, dance studios, preschools, youth detention centers and elder care homes to toddlers, children, teenagers, seniors, college students, families, and mothers and their children in the process of reunification, in the United States, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. When I am not teaching dance, you might find me dancing at home with my husband and two children, taking hikes around town, visiting a museum, cooking, stretching and reading lots and lots of books!
Dance Learning at Mississippi: The curriculum in the dance room is student-centered, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant and aligned with the new MN State Arts Standards in Dance. The following is what each grade level can expect from their dance education at Mississippi Creative Arts School:
PreK and Kindergarten: Dancers work in opposites – big/small, high/low, open/close, fast/slow, near/far through games, stories and dance props, laying the foundational tools of their dance learning. These young dancers begin to develop the words for dance vocabulary.
1st and 2nd Grade: Dancers deepen their understanding of foundational dance tools through short improvisations and dance compositions, partner work, physical exploration of a wide array of dance concepts, technical skill building and learning folk dances that help ground the creative dance concepts embedded in the curriculum. Dancers in these grades build on their use of spoken dance vocabulary through observation and self-reflection.
3rd Grade: Dancers continue to deepen their understanding of dance elements Body, Action, Space, Time and Energy and are now ready to choreograph more layered and complex dance compositions, alone and with partners. Dancers at this grade level are beginning to develop thetools to respond and connect their dance learning to their larger world through reflection and analysis.