Who is Christine?
As a person, I am so many things. I am half Danish and half German. I’m a mix of different things. I grew up in many cultures. I do feel like I’m European. Then I’m a dancer. I have been dancing all my life. I’m a Bhangra dancer. But I do different dance styles also. That’s part of me. I’m also a student. I’m studying Business Communication and German language. I’m completing my masters. With studying business I can combine that with dancing and with the work I’m doing right now.
Where are you originally from?
I am from Denmark. My mother, she is from there. I grew up by the German border. I grew up with both cultures. At the border, you have German schools so I had the best of both worlds. I’m visiting the UK at the moment but I still live in Denmark. I had a workshop at Leicester Mela which was great. We have done a workshop in Wolverhampton and we are shooting a video also. So it’s all go go!
Where did love of dance come from?
I started dancing at the age of 2 years old. Not because I wanted too. My mum, she forced me (laughing) My mum she used to dance as a child. Also in my family when you get older you do dancing. There was only dance school not much in terms of sport though. I was put in this dance school I had no option and it wasn’t even a hobby. I had to go.
But when I turned 11 years old I realise I didn’t like my teacher and I had options to do something else. My mum thought I would like it. I quit. After 2 years I joined them again as I realised I loved dancing. I was doing ballroom dancing hip hop. I didn’t want to do that style of dancing. Everyone was doing the same thing the same dance. They even tried making me do competitions but I didn’t like them. I wanted to dance for fun. Not be pressured into competitions. Not to be the best or to show how good I am. I knew I wouldn’t enjoy dance that way. I started to do belly dancing and Bollywood. I did that up to the age of 20 years old but then I got bored again. I got a lot of negative response due to me showing my body. Showing my stomach. When I was performing I saw how guys were reacting. I was like I don’t want to be like a sexual object and it didn’t sit well with me. My teacher tried to convince me to stay and that I wasn’t a sexual object and just dance for you and ignore the negativity. It was hard to ignore as when I was performing people would shout bad stuff at us. I just couldn’t ignore it. I don’t want guys to look at me like. So I left and started Bollywood and I enjoyed that. Then Bhangra followed! This was all whilst I was in Denmark.
Where did the love and passion for Bhangra start?
I went to Mumbai as I wanted to learn more about the style of dancing and learn for myself. I started teaching Bollywood. So I thought if I’m teaching Bollywood then I should know where the dancing comes from. Learn from someone who really knows what they are doing. Then I took a Bhangra class and Micky was there (Christine dance partner) I had seen Bhangra before but I wasn’t very good ad it was hard with the steps so I really started from the bottom. It is a very fast Bhangra. Mickey was the teacher of the class for Bhangra. As soon as the music came on I went to the front (laughing) I just did my steps and I really enjoyed it. Plus seeing Mickey’s energy was amazing. That was it for me, the love of Bhangra came.
I have followed your journey for a while, in some of your video’s you dance alone and then in other you have dance partners is that all part of Bhangra Of Christine?
Micky and I met in Mumbai. I have been to India a few times and Mickey has come to Denmark also. So whenever we met we put something together. I like to be creative as well as Mickey. We make videos together. Hold workshops. If I am alone in Denmark I’ll make some alone also. I try to explore and collaborate with other people also.
Are your family and friends happy and support you doing Bhangra?
In the beginning, you can say no. My family just didn’t understand and why was I going to India and investing money in dancing. For them, it was so weird. Saying I was putting so much energy in a video. Asking me why I am doing this, why am I putting videos on YouTube. That kind of stuff. They weren’t against they couldn’t understand it. After some time I was getting some good responses and some good views on YouTube. So then my mum was like oh wow! Then she would tell me how many views I was getting (laughing) now they are supportive and they see the progress. Even my friends now support me. They are passionate about my dancing too.
What has been your struggle doing Bhangra?
There hasn’t been any struggle doing Bhangra as I do it for the fun and for the passion. I just love it! Family and friends do worry as there can be haters but you get that with everything. One struggle is many people don’t respect dancers! People get very competitive and start competing with you. There are people out in the Industry who do not respect dancers say ill teach a class and they don’t pay. If I was a singer I bet a male singer I’d get more respect. As a woman, you don’t get it. Things won’t change I know that. Even Denmark I’m the only teacher who teaches out there my style of dancing. People think I’m just a dancer and nothing more and I don’t work hard for it. It’s upsetting. But on the upside, I get a lot of positive feedback as well.
I have seen on Social Media you get negativity about being a white female doing Bhangra/Giddha don’t you?
Yes, I do. I’m getting a lot of hate from Punjabi males. I get death threats. One of them was only 13 years old. I think to myself it makes them feel good saying this stuff about me. I don’t think it’s personally against me. So I don’t take any notice.
When girls do it I get that a lot and it’s mainly Punjabi girls from the UK/USA. They think I know more about their culture than they do. They think I’m better at dancing than they are. Every day I learn the language. Especially if you are dancing on a track you want to know what they were singing about. That’s important. These girls who have attacked me verbally don’t even know their own language. I go to India often and I have a life there as well. I do get a lot of shit. Saying who the hell do I think I am? There is a huge discussion at the moment about European girls dressing in Asian clothing and making fun of the culture. That’s not me! I wear the Punjabi suit when I dance so it’s respectful. I’m wearing clothes. I’m dancing to a Punjabi track why not wear the appropriate suit. I get a lot of verbal abuse on why I’m wearing a Punjabi suit. I love the Suits they are beautiful. I respect the culture. I was asked recently to wear shorts in a video and I said no as I don’t wear shorts in a video. I’m traditional and very conservative. I don’t anyone to see me as a sexual object but to see my talent. If not then its bye bye (laughing) I feel sad about it but there’s nothing you can do. I’m more than that. I have the talent and I inspire to be the best I can be.
There were a lot of debates that only men should do Bhangra and not females
Anyone can dance. It used to be men that did Bhangra but things have changed dramatically now. There are certain females who can do dance better than men! I don’t understand why this is still an issue. Everyone should dance. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.
When did you start your YouTube Channel and you also have a massive following on your Instagram Page?
I started it 2 years ago whilst in India and I wasn’t much up. Then last year in Denmark and I thought I’d make my own choreography and my own style and see how it goes and I put a few up and the rest is history. I have so much positive feedback. The negative comments I know how to deal with it. I have a great support network. I have a positive outlook.
Have you always been Positive?
No when I was teenager I was depressed and I suffered with it quite a lot. People would tell me I’m ugly and I’d take it so personally. Somehow I have grown up and dealt with it. I learnt I can’t be consumed by other people’s opinions. I’m me! I’ve learnt now to be confident and positive. I love what I’m doing. I won’t let anyone destroy me or what I enjoy doing. Just keep dancing and be happy!
After speaking to Christine her passion for Bhangra was just amazing. She is lovely and down to earth person. When I met both her and Micky I felt that I had known them ages! Even though it was the first time I met them. Please show some love for Christine. I think it’s wrong that she is getting shit for dancing to Bhangra. I mean I dance to Reggae and Hip-hop is that not right either? Society needs to change. Music and dance are for everyone and no one should get death threats because of it. No one should dictate to anyone what style of dance they should do!
Myself and Christine i believe will stay good friends we have a lot in common not only dance! Good Luck Christine on your ventures!