A Wisconsin native, Karisa began her dance instruction with Vaganova training at The Central Wisconsin School of Ballet and Waltrud Karkar. Upon moving to Madison, she studied with Dance Wisconsin and Jojean Retrum, spending her summers training on scholarship with notable companies such as Joffrey Ballet, Boston Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet. After completing the Milwaukee Ballet trainee program in 1994, Ms. Stich was asked to join the company, later rising to become a premiere artist. Karisa was a favorite among audiences for classical works and often chosen to develop new choreography for visiting choreographers. Among them are Michael Pink, Mark Godden, Charles Moulton, Kathryn Posin, John Utans, Lila York, Diego Carrasco. She danced for Chautauqua Ballet Company on the off season with Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, and Mark Diamond also performing principal roles as a guest artist with numerous regional dance companies. She began teaching at Milwaukee Ballet School Summer Intensive in 2004 and has returned for most summers since. After retiring in 2006, Karisa relocated to Washington DC where she taught ballet at Reston Conservatory Ballet while completing her Pilates certification with over 800 hours of study. She is now happy to be returning to Milwaukee Ballet School where she can give back some of what she has learned to the young dancers of today.
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