Christine Heckel grew up in Tucson, Arizona and since then has devoted 20+ years to the art of classical ballet as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher; and has danced, choreographed, and taught with Tucson Regional Ballet, Ballet Rincon, Ballet Arts Academy at The Old Waldorf School, and The Studio Cooperative, dancing principal and soloist roles in many classical ballets as well as several contemporary works. Her teachers and mentors include Christopher Hird, Danile Geisy, Randall Marks, Daniel Catanach, Carolyn Haatainen-Wallace, Gary Mackenzie, Devin Krahling, Jayne Stephanie-Keating, and Oscar Hawkins.
In 2009 Christine was introduced to Pilates and found it provided strength and control in her dance technique, as well as a method to both prevent and rehabilitate injuries. Her desire to share this with her students led to continuing her studies of movement, anatomy, and kinesiology through a contemporary, anatomical approach to Pilates. She studied at Balance Pilates Training Center in Richmond, Virginia and obtained her full certification as a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor in 2011. This includes training in the essential through advanced levels of Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Stability Chair, and Barrels as well as training in the use of props and exercise modifications through the Injuries and Special Populations (ISP) course. Christine is a Merrithew™ Instructor Trainer specializing in offering STOTT PILATES® certification courses to aspiring Pilates instructors. She is also an ACE Certified Personal Trainer. She currently teaches at The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA, Balance Pilates Training Center in Richmond, VA, and is Owner/Operator of Breathe Pilates Place in La Plata, MD.
Christine currently practices multiple aerial arts including: flying trapeze, lyra, acrobatic partner balancing, and dance trapeze. She has practiced yoga for 15 years and believes that the mind/body/spirit connection is at the core of all forms of movement.
“In my ballet classes, I have made the study of the Vaganova (“Russian”) ballet syllabus with its artistry, passion, discipline and simplicity, a key component of my teaching philosophy. It is my goal to provide any student who wishes to learn or return to dance with the skills needed to safely develop or hone their technique in a positive environment.”