A former principal dancer with Dayton Ballet and member of Houston Ballet and Manhattan Ballet, Risa has performed with Pennsylvania Ballet and Metropolitan Opera Ballet and as a guest artist with many companies nationwide.
She was originally trained at Maryland Youth Ballet by Tensia Fonseca, Roy Gean, and Michelle Lees, and she spent summers as a teen studying on scholarship at American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Houston Ballet.
As a professional, Risa's most influential teachers were Maggie Black, Marjorie Mussman, Stuart Sebastian, Lupe Serrano, Benjamin Harkarvy, and Ben Stevenson. She has performed the repertoire of many choreographers including Fredrick Ashton, George Balanchine, Ben Stevenson, Stuart Sebastian, Dermot Burke, Billy Wilson, and Marjorie Mussman.
On behalf of DanceViison, Risa founded D.A.N.C.E. (Dance As a Necessary Component of Education), an outreach program that brings dance to New Jersey schools. She has choreographed two original full-length ballets, The Secret Garden and The Snow Queen in 2008 and 2011 respectively. Additionally, she has choreographed for several New Jersey Symphony Orchestra family and school outreach concerts.
Risa is an ABT® Affiliate Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum, and has successfully presented students for Curriculum examinations. She is an adjunct professor at The College of New Jersey and has lectured ABT/NYU Master candidates on starting a dance studio.