Carissa Kniss

Carissa LaitinenKniss has received a BA in Dance Kinesiology from Texas Woman’s University and a M. Ed. from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. As a professional dancer, she began studying yoga and Pilates in 1989 under the direction of Susan Marquis Friday.

In 2002 Carissa received her yoga teacher certification from the Yoga Institute of Houston and began working toward a certification in Pilates. Wanting to explore her dance career further, Carissa began studying aerial arts and pole fitness in 2005. After several years of studying aerial arts, Carissa became certified to teach Aerial Yoga, Aerial Silks, and Lyra.

For over 15 years she has taught Dance, Yoga, and Pilates to all ages and abilities. In 2008 Carissa established Twisted Bodies in Denton, TX with Khristen Pahler. Twisted Bodies has become a leading educational center for teacher trainings and community classes. Mrs. Kniss has collaborated on various educational curriculum in the fields of yoga, Pilates, aerial arts and dance.

Ms. Kniss regularly attends continuing education courses to increase her knowledge and stay up to date on the most cutting edge research.

Additionally, Carissa is an active sponsor and participant in multiple professional organizations and provides workshops, commissioned choreography, and teacher trainings around the world.

  • Mom of 2 boys!
  • Owns the world’s smallest goat.
  • Lives on a small farm with 6 dogs, 3 cats, 2 donkeys, 12 goats, 2 ducks, and 4 chickens….still adding more.
  • Broke her back in college.
  • Began dancing professionally at age 8.


  • M.Ed.
  • B.A. Dance Kinesiology
  • Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher
  • E-RYT 500
  • Pilates for Rehab
  • Pink Ribbon Therapeutic Pilates
  • Aerial Silks
  • Lyra Hoop
  • Aerial Yoga
  • Aerial Sling
  • Pole
  • Total Barre
  • POUND!

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