Alissa began her training with Eugene Ballet and Salem City Ballet in Oregon state before moving to Wisconsin in 1988. She continued her ballet training with Jim Moore and Joan Karlen at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point Conservatory, where she began teaching ballet classes. During this time, Alissa also trained at the Milwaukee Ballet's summer intensive programs. In 1993, Alissa moved to Madison to pursue a Linguistics degree at the University of Wisconsin where she continued her dance training. During this time, she continued to teach ballet at several local studios. In 1999, she joined the Madison Ballet Studio Company and performed with Madison Ballet until 2005. Favorite roles with Madison Ballet include Snow and Spanish in Nutcracker, and Drunken Fairy in Peter Pan.
Alissa is also a licensed Wisconsin K-12 teacher and teaches French at Milton High School. In 2011, Alissa achieved National Board Certification by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and in 2012 was recognized by Senator Herb Kohl for excellence in teaching with a Kohl Teacher Fellowship Award. Alissa is also the Director of Wisconsin Parkour, and one of only six ADAPT-qualified parkour instructors in the state of Wisconsin. When not dancing, Alissa can often be seen around Madison, leaping tall buildings in a single bound.