Carissa Westerfield began dancing as a child in recital studios, eventually with her high school drill team, and then received more classical dance training during college. She studied ballet at Central Eastern Utah Community College. She also studied ballet and modern dance at Weber State University in Ogden, UT, where she minored in Dance. When Carissa moved to Colorado in 2002, she started taking classes from Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and Kim Robards Dance (KBD), where she joined the KBD training program. Carissa then danced and performed with the Academy of Classical Ballet (ACB) primarily from 2004 to 2009. After having her daughters in 2009 and 2012, as well as focusing on developing her career as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Carissa’s time to dedicate toward dance and performing became limited. However, she continued to stay involved in dance by taking classes and assisting in performances with ACB from 2009 to 2017, especially when her daughters started participating in ballet. Carissa began attending classes with Denver Dance Center and Thrive Ballet in Fall 2017. She has dedicated her focus of dance with Thrive Ballet since 2017 and has been excited to start performing more regularly again since 2018. Carissa is grateful to receive training from artistic director, Jill Oliver, and to be a part of a positive dance community where she can develop friendships and strengthen the relationships with her daughters. Carissa is in her fifth season with Thrive Ballet.