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 Principal in the fall of 2021. She has enjoyed performing roles in ballets such as Pearl in The Little Mermaid, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mina in Dracula, and Aleksya in The Snow Queen. Karissa is excited for her sixth season with BTM and to continue working with artistic director Nicole Kelsch.