Karen Pederson Clapp
Karen Pedersen Clapp began studying ballet at the age of six in New Orleans. While in New Orleans, Mrs. Clapp danced solo roles with Ballet Jeunesse and Loyola Ballet with Lelia Haller. She also danced in several operas and Mardi Gras balls. She received a full scholarship in ballet to Texas Christian University from which she graduated in 1975, magna cum laude. While at T.C.U., she became principal dancer with the Fort Worth Ballet. She directed the Preparatory Ballet Program at T.C.U. from 1976-1986. She co-directed the Schaffenburg Ballet Academy with her first husband, Fernando Schaffenburg, from 1975-May, 2000. Mrs. Clapp co-founded North Texas Ballet Theatre in 1990 and was Ballet Mistress and choreographer for that company for ten years. Throughout her career, Mrs. Clapp has been praised for her unique style and approach to teaching classical ballet, based on the Russian Maryinsky method. In July 2000, she became the Director of the School of Dance of the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center and Artistic Director of the Sangre de Cristo Ballet Theatre. Mrs. Clapp created eight original works for SBT during her tenure at the Arts Center as well as restaging many other works. She celebrated her 10th season of Nutcracker, the Ballet, in December 2009. She resigned her position with the Arts Center at the end of 2009 and now resides in Tampa, Florida with husband, Greg Clapp. She is a free-lance ballet teacher and choreographer.