Interview with Christine de Vogt from Dusseldorf, Germany
Friendship is an amazing gift. My friend Karen met Christine on a cruise to Alaska. Amid their conversations about their lives, Karen mentioned my writing and once she returned home, she sent her my ballet stories. Christine enjoyed them and asked if I would be interested in having a tiny tutu costume and a pair of worn pointe shoes to use with my book talks. Of course I said yes. And here we are, interviewing this multi-talented woman and my new friend from Europe, Christine de Vogt.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your life on Düsseldorf, Germany.
… I was born in Germany and have lived in the city of Düsseldorf for 33 years where I also owned and managed a dance studio…teaching for 25 years.
At the close of my dance career I began a new job as Senior Consultant with an optical business in Düsseldorf that features handmade frames from France and Italy. This work enables me to use my skills as a design artist and business associate. Teaching ballet has given me the way to also lead educational seminars for “Potential Development and Self-Management.” Work as a professional Mentor, enables me to use the same skills developed during my ballet teaching career. The important theme is this: “Do what you do every day in a perfect way—as soon as you can, but without being fearful or pressured. This is a challenging and engaging theme. Just as in my dance studio time, I continue to find joy in teaching. This is my center and it comes from my heart!
When did you first discover your love of dance?
Dancing lessons began for me when I was 9 years old and continued only for a few years. At the age of 24, I began to study dancing (including teaching) and singing. It was after the completion of my education that I began my own school in Düsseldorf, giving lessons in ballet, tap and jazz dance and floor exercises. Travel to New York City every year gave me extended learning experience and time to participate in dance classes
What are your favorite pieces of classical music? Other forms of music do you enjoy?
Bach and Mozart are the classical favorites with my own very special appreciation of Leonard Bernstein. A long list of singers that I enjoy and admire are; Al Jarreau, Barbra Streisand, George Benson, Mel Torme’, and Randy Crawford.
What are your fondest memories of being the mistress of a dance studio?
For nearly 25 years, every moment was remarkable! I remember the time as if it were yesterday. Recognizing student development in attitude and learning has been a lifetime gift for me…getting back from all the children and adults in my care. As the teacher, I was the one learning the most. I feel grateful every day, thinking this is the best gift on earth!
I understand you are also a visual artist. What mediums do you enjoy the most? What, if any, other mediums do you like or plan to experiment with?
I love to write! Travel stories and poetry are in my collections. Painting is one of my passions and appreciating the arts is part of life. Using photography as art expression was part of a three-year gallery showing in Düsseldorf with art friend, Joerg Stracke. We developed readings and story-telling guides for the exhibition. Joerg and I worked together for ten years on a project (photo meets painting) “Manhattan Impressions: an ART Sightseeing” and put on exhibitions in many German towns. The book was published with our photo design work in 2008.
What other bits of information about yourself would you like to share with us?
The “active” exhibition time is in the past and my current focus is now on Seminar Leader theme development. The philosophy involved is motivational and acting as a mentor for others is exciting and rewarding.