Originally from Alberta, Karissa began her training in classical ballet and later incorporated other genres of dance includingvarious forms of modern, contact improvisation, contemporary ballet, and African. She received her training from Arts Umbrella, Ballet BC Mentor Program, The Banff Centre for the Arts and Impulstanz in Vienna, Austria. She has since worked as a freelance contemporary dance artist for twelve years, performing for choreographers and companies across Canada including Serge Bennathan, Sylvain Emard Danse, and Wen Wei Dance, touring throughout Asia, Europe, South America, and the U.K.
Karissa has created contemporary dance works for numerous programs and festivals including the Ballet BC mentor program, Brief Encounters, Dancing on the Edge, Dances for a Small Stage, la Petite Scène, Modus Operandi Training Program, Twelve Minutes Max, Small Stage Point 5, and self-produced the full-length evening STRATEGY THREEwhich included threenew works as well as a dance on film project.Shehas also appeared in various TV commercials as well as print ads such as Mountain Equipment Co-op’s yoga apparel line.
As an instructor for the professional community as well as for emerging professionals and students, Karissa teaches ballet, contemporary, conditioning, and improvisation.She is also Artistic Associate and Co-Curator for MovEnt and it’s many projects including Dances for a Small Stage, and the Point 5 series that features collaborations between professional dancers and musicians.