Karen Raiti Thigpen originally hails from Detroit, Michigan where she has studied and performed with the Gross Pointe Children’s Theater, The Detroit Players Club and as an apprentice with Dance Detroit.  She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and performed the original works of Vaslav Nijinski, Peter Sparling, and Linda Spriggs while pursuing a dual degree in International Relations and Fine Arts.  She has studied formally at the Ailey School and The Limón Institute and has studied the techniques of modern dance pioneers Doris Humprhey and Charles Weidman while performing as a resident company member of Dance Consort: Mezzacappa-Gabrian in New York City from 1997-1999. During that time, she performed in such notable works by Charles Weidman as Lynchtown, Easter Oratorio, and Brahams Waltzes. Karen also served as a guest artist with other New York-based companies including The Italian Opera Company, The Marie-Christine Giordano Dance Company, and The American Repertory Dance Company.  Karen was a member of the nationally acclaimed Demetrius Klein Dance Company from 1999-2000 and appeared with Mikhail Baryshnikov in Ocean Dance 2000 during that season.

A choreographer as well as a performer, Karen’s modern and tap works have been produced in New York City at Context Studios, Dance Space and at the 1999 9th Avenue Festival.  Additionally, she was selected as a featured choreographer for the 1999 Klein Fall Festival and at Palm Beach Atlantic College where she served as a tap-choreographer-in-residence in 2000. She is a new resident to North-Central Florida and recently served as the choreographer for the Spring 2001 production of Anything Goes at the Ocala Civic Theater.  Karen is presently a faculty member at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida and resides in Ocala with her husband, Jonathan.