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Interview with Christine Baltes

Lisa Hubbard

Tell us a little about your movement background?

I come from a dance background.  My dance training was from the Chicago area.  I studied ballet, tap, modern, and specialized in classical jazz dance with Gus Giordano.  He was the grandfather of American Jazz dance.  You will find him in your dance history books.  I always felt fortunate that I was born where I was & lived so close to such a great man.

Where did you receive your training and where do you teach?

My training has been from a variety of people that I feel have been extremely influential in each of their own areas.  I have studied with numerous people, but will mention only a few that have made an impact on me. Dance:  Gus Giordano,  Pilates: Diane Diefenderfer, Rael Isacowitz, Marie Jose Blom,  Gyrotonic:  Donna Place, Suzie Mann Lewis, Gyrokinesis: Serafina Pechan, Donna Place, Alicia Head.

Teaching: I’ve taught at many locations, too many to mention, but will highlight some.

Dance: University of California, Irvine, Calif State University Long Beach, Irvine Valley College, Orange Coast College, Academy of Dance Performing Arts High School, Chapman University and DeFore Dance Center.

Pilates/Gyrokinesis:  Irvine Valley College, Orange Coast College, & my own studio.

Gyrotonic/Gyrotonic for Dancer:  O.C. Gyrotonic Studio, Long Beach Gyrotonic, Balance in Form, and my own studio located in South Coast Metro Area.

Self Created Pilates, Gyrotonic & more Workshops:  Loretta Shaw Core Pilates, Align Pilates, Orange Coast College, DeFore Dance Center, (Orange County), Core Concept, Spring, Lou Conte, Giordance Dance (Chicago), Form Pilates, Body Evolution, Gyrotonic Manhatten, Kinspirit (New York)

Christine’s Pilates & Gyrotonic Studio (South Coast Metro Area)
I have 2 Gyrotonic Pulley Towers, Gyrotonic Jump, Stretch, Board, Pilates reformer & Cadillac where I work closely with students.

What do you love most about teaching?

Helping others succeed.  Seeing the results of hard work between my student & myself pay off.  Watching the beauty of movement grow in front of my eyes. 

Who has been one of the most influential persons in your journey of Pilates GYROTONIC, and dance? 

Gus Giordano (dance). He has taught me so much from the age of 16 into adult life.  He trained my technique, eye for placement, strength and style. As far as Gyrotonic goes, I have to say that although I’ve worked with several master trainers that are all so brilliant, I’ve worked more closely with Donna Place who has helped me individually the most.

Tell us a little about your teaching style.

This is a tough question to answer.  As a dance instructor, I use to be more of a drill sargeant, but I have evolved from that teaching style.  In the dance industry, I’m known for being a technically strong teacher and one where you will get a training instead of just learn dance steps.  Here goes the adjectives; I’m kind, nurturing, disciplined, creative, and  have lots of respect for the artform of movement (dance, pilates, Gyrotonic, etc) I believe in the student taking responsibility and good work ethics. I teach all types of classes and although I’m the same person teaching each, I do add a different hat for what the class is designed for. I don’t know if this is the type of answer you were looking for, but….

What advice would you give someone trying pilates or gyrotonic for the first time?

Don’t be afraid or nervous.  Be open for what the possibilities can bring.  I have heard too many times over & over again (heck, I’ve said it), students say  ‘I use to be able to do this’, or ‘why didn’t anyone ever tell me I was doing it wrong’, & the come back I have for each is to not look back, but look at the endless possibilities of opportunity to finally move forward, to learn and reach an experience a new journey. Hmm, maybe I should also add that all teachers are not the same. 

What is your greatest passion?

Dance and it will always be! The word passion is filled with so much.  I believe I was born with passion.  I feel like exploding at times with how much I have.  Music sparks passion, movement sparks passion, combine the two & holy cow!  My Gyrotonic for Dancer choreographed sequences bring me passion. Life itself brings me passion!


Christine Baltes, a master teacher, specializing in jazz dance is recognized as a leader in technique, and one who doesn’t just “give” class but truly “teaches”.  Ms. Baltes possesses a California Teaching credential in dance and a certification in Pilates.  She is a Gyrotonic© and Gyrokinesis® pre-trainer, and certified in the Pulley Tower, Leg Extension Unit, Jump Stretch Board and Archway of the GYROTONIC® EXPANSION SYSTEM.  She has been involved in dance for most of her life, & in the mind body fitness industry since 1992.

Her teaching career spans over 40 years with faculty positions that include the University of California, Irvine, Chapman University, California State University Long Beach, Orange Coast College, Irvine Valley College, Santa Ana College, Academy of Performing Arts High School and many more. 

This very passionate individual has an abundance of experience and knowledge in the functions of the body.  She brings a hands-on approach that imparts this knowledge, care, passion and the understanding of the body to all who work with her.  Clients from all backgrounds benefit from Christine’s teachings.  This devoted, passionate and energetic professional is bound to make a difference in your body, mind and overall improvement of movement.

Christine’s Studio, is located in the South Coast Metro area and offers private, semi & group sessions.  She offers specific training for dancers and classes in the O.C. & Long Beach area on the Pulley Tower that incorporates a wide variety of creative and choreographic dance styles, dance repertoire in conjunction with the Gyrotonic® repertoire and principles.