Originally from Edmonton, Karissa has worked as a freelance, contemporary dance artist since 2002, performing the work of choreographers and companies such as Serge Bennathan/Les Productions Figlio, Vanessa Goodman/Action at a Distance, EzDanza, Science Friction, Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, JoeIInk, LINK Dance, Day Helesic/MovEnt, Mascall Dance, Out InnerSpace Dance Theatre, Anne Plamondon, Raven Spirit Dance, Sylvain Émard Danse, Amber Funk Barton/the response, The Vancouver Opera, Wen Wei Dance and many others. Performing works for these companies has taken her touring to China, Colombia, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Scotland, Singapore, U.S.A., Wales and throughout Canada.
Karissa has also created site-specific works and contemporary dance for the stage. Her work has been presented at the Ballet BC mentor program, BC Buds, Brief Encounters, Cecchetti Dance Theatre, Dancing on the Edge, Dance Deck Cinq, Dusk Dances, Expanse Festival, Fluid Festival, Small Stage, la Petite Scène, Modus Operandi Training Program, Twelve Minutes Max. She also presented a full-length evening, STRATEGY THREE, which included a dance-on-film project in which she produced, performed and edited. She has produced two dance films that have been screened internationally, most recently at MOVing IMAges in Cyprus.
As an instructor for the professional community as well as aspiring dance students, Karissa teaches ballet, contemporary and conditioning techniques for various institutions and programs.