Karissa Kralik was raised on Long Island, New York where she trained with Mme. Valia Seiskaya until 2010 in Vaganova based ballet and character techniques. She came in second place in the senior division of the American Ballet Competition in 2010. Karissa attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education with a Musical Theater Minor in 2014. There she continued her training under faculty including Christine Cox (BalletX), Eva Szabo, Andrew Pap, Anne White (PA Ballet), and Scott Jovovich (Joffrey Ballet). Karissa studied Modern techniques including Horton with Kim Bears-Bailey (Philadanco) and Graham with Jennifer Binford-Johnson (Martha Graham Dance Company), as well as varied styles of Jazz with Wayne St. David and Donald Lunsford (Philadanco). She enjoyed opportunities to perform works choreographed by Helen Simoneau and Douglas Becker (Frankfurt Ballet). Karissa joined Ballet Theatre of Maryland as an Apprentice in 2016, was promoted to Demi-Soloist in 2017, Soloist in 2020, and to Principal in Fall of 2021. She has enjoyed dancing the title role in Giselle, Pearl in The Little Mermaid, Mina in Dracula and Mercedes in Don Quixote. Her other roles have included Snow Queen in Dianna Cuatto’s The Nutcracker, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Aleksya in The Snow Queen. Karissa also enjoyed having the opportunity to choreograph on company dancers in Momentum 2023 with her piece By Any Other Name.