Title: Dance Therapist
Company: St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church
Location: Westland, Michigan, United States
Karen Mae Lynn Murphy Barsy, MA, R-DMT, Dance Therapist at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Healthcare Professionals for dedication, achievements, and leadership in dance.
Ms. Barsy was always interested in dance. She was going to college for special education with a dance minor when someone asked her if she had heard of dance therapy. Though she had not, she then looked it up and immediately knew it is what she wanted to do with her life. She went on to receive a degree in psychology and creative art therapy with a focus on dance. Ms. Barsy earned a Bachelor of Science in dance education from Eastern Michigan University in 1986, going on to acquire a Master of Arts in dance therapy from Lesley College in 1988. Upon completion of her studies, Ms. Barsy received a K-12 teaching certificate from Eastern Michigan University and was registered as a dance/movement therapist by Lesley College in 1988. Later, the Red Cross certified her in CPR and first aid.
Ms. Barsy works at Penrickton Center, a center for blind and multi-handicapped children. For 30 years, she has worked individually with the children to assist them in their developmental growth. She helps the children learn to roll over, walk, crawl, and dance, wholly developing their fine motor skills. Ms. Barsy’s career in dance education began in 1981 at the Lagone Community Center. Though they didn’t have a modern dance program, they did offer classes in ballet, tap, and jazz. Proving her skills, she was able to add creative movement classes, mom and pop classes, and served as a pioneer to their modern dance classes. She started a special needs dance class, which was primarily for children with down syndrome and autism, but ended up helping children with an array of health issues. She stepped down from her teaching position in 2016 because her son, who had special needs, was graduating and she felt she needed to spend more time at home. Since 2016, Ms. Barsy has been a dance therapist and independent contractor at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. She uses dance as a therapy with an older group of students. For her younger students, she choreographs dances for the church and curates energetic exercises using therapy balls. As a testament to her success, Ms. Barsy is listed in multiple editions of Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in Entertainment, and Who’s Who in American Education.
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