~ HISTORY ~
1918 - 2012
Christina Heimlich was born in Gorlitz, Silesia, East Germany in 1918. As a young dancer Mrs. Heimlich (known as Christina Margarite Otto) began her career as a soloist ballerina with the Sadler Wells Ballet (now the English Royal Ballet). Mrs. Heimlich studied with Tatiana Gsosvska, Eutinia Eduardowa, and had master classes with Agrippinia Vaganova.
At 16 years old she took the required license examination from Rudolf von Laban, the inventor of dance notation. Mrs. Heimlich was also an acclaimed European actress, choreographer, author and radio personality. In 1949 she was the Voice of Berlin for RIAS (Radio In the American Sector).
In 1951 she met and married an American Col. William F. Heimlich, and followed him to the United States. In 1962 she founded her Academy of Ballet in Falls Church, Virginia, which she ran until her death in 2012.
In cooperation with the German journalist Tamara Domentat, she wrote "Heimlich in the Cold War", which incorporates her late husband's unpublished memoirs. The book was published in 2000 by Autbau-Ferlag.
In 1998 The Christina Heimlich Dancers were invited to go to Novgorod, Russia, by The Center of Culture and Leisure. Miss Lisa, one of our instructors Alisa Pappas, and 16 of the Christina Heimlich Dancers gave many performances including Russian Television. The dancers studied under Ludmilla Grigorieva–student of the great Igor Moiseyev. The Dancers felt right at home because of the training they received from Christina Heimlich, who brought European Folk and Character Dance to her American Students.
Her dancers have performed at the White House, Kennedy Center, German, French, Turkish and Russian embassies, many American and Russian television programs and at the International Children’s Festival at Wolftrap, where Mrs. Heimlich was one of the founders forty years ago.
Today, former student Miss Elizabeth continues Mrs. Heimlich's festive yet disciplined traditional interpretations of Grimm’s' Fairy Tales as well as Chinese, Gypsy and Russian folk stories as well as tap, jazz and classical ballet.
Classes are conducted in Annandale and Alexandria. Elizabeth Hawkins and her staff continue to teach children of all ages and adults this very special method that provides instruction of all levels, performance experience, and most of all a lifelong love and appreciation of the Dance.
~ Ballet Master/Consultant ~
Ballet Master Lisa Filipy was trained as an elite Christina Heimlich Dancer. She performed ballet, character, and folk dances for world leaders as well as countless others at The White House, The Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap and many other venues.
She studied character and Russian dancing under Ludmilla Gregoreava (student of the great Igor Moiseyev), and received formal training with The Joffrey Ballet, Washington Ballet, Miami City Ballet and the Royal Canadian Ballet.
Inspired by Christina Heimlich, Miss Lisa has carried on International Dance traditions for 45 years and as its Former Artistic Director, she is best known for loving and inspiring generations of dancers and looks forward to inspiring many more.