Teaches: Lyrical, Acrobatics, Contemporary
Carissa grew up as an Elite Gymnast training at the Australian Institute of Sport. When this came to an end, she discovered and fell in love with dancing —especially the styles hip hop, lyrical, and contemporary. She has continued to explore these styles over the years in both Canberra and Sydney. Carissa now teaches dancing, yoga, and acrobatics in Canberra. She also performs regularly as a dancer and acrobat.
Carissa’s favourite dance moment
My favourite dance moment was when I performed on the World Stage, at Hip Hop International in Las Vegas, in 2013!
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
I would have encouraged myself to create my own dream and pathway in dancing. I say this because my experience in the dance industry has felt limiting at times — as if there are only certain things you can call ‘success’, and certain ways to get there.
When I broke away from this mindset, my life as a dancer opened up tremendously and I have now achieved dream performances that I never thought I would have the opportunity to do!
I have also learnt that success comes in all forms: my dancers walking out of class feeling like a better, stronger, happier version of themselves is one of them.
Are you also an active sports person? What sports do you enjoy?
I’m a very active sports person! With my gymnastics/ elite sport background, sports is very important to me and training is something I am very passionate about. More specifically, I love learning and educating my students on how to condition their body specific to their craft, whether it’s either dancing or acrobatics.
Another very important aspect for me is ‘recovery’. Not many people know or understand how important this is for your body and its impact on the overall result, and I love that I can lead classes in this area.
Carissa’s favourite dancer is…
Melanie Moore —I think she is incredible! Such a graceful and beautiful dancer, but also so strong and athletic. I love her work!
Why Dance Central?
I choose Dance Central because I really feel like this school aligns with my perspective on dance: thinking outside the box and creating your own pathway. Everyone believes in each other and supports each other here. There is a place for everyone and opportunities in all sorts of directions. Because of this, I see dancers growing and shining beyond what they ever thought they were capable of. They leave feeling happy and inspired, and confident that they can achieve anything — and the truth is, they can!