Meet-a-Mom, Christine Kohler also known as Ms. Chris to her students has been a Denville business owner for 29 years! This incredible Mom is not only a director and former dancer but can show you some boxing moves. Read our interview to find out more about this amazing local Mom and her favorite local hot spots.
How many children do you have and what are their age(s)?
I have two daughters who light up my life daily. Frannie is 25 and is an engineer in Philadelphia. Cassidy is 20 and currently attends NYU. I am grateful every day that I was blessed with the honor of being their mom. I also have an “exchange daughter”, Laura who is 20 and lives in Germany. Laura lived with us for a year and attended Morris Knolls with my daughter, Cassidy. She was a wonderful addition to our family and we still correspond and visit frequently.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Morris County?
I have lived in Morris County for my whole life. I grew up in Parsippany and went to Parsippany High School.
Favorite things to do with your kids?
My girls and I often enjoyed visiting Uptown Art. We have a pretty sizable collection of paintings! As they were growing up, one of our favorite trips was to the drive-in theater in Warwick, NY. We also love to catch a Broadway show or a ballet. Favorite businesses around town would include Sisters and Wish… with two daughters you have to know those spots! When we weren’t at Danceworks, we also spent a lot of time at World Class Martial Arts as both of my girls earned their black belts there.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
That I love to box. I was introduced to contact boxing back in the early 2000’s and I fell in love. My favorite way to work out is with boxing gloves and a heavy bag.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
I learned so much about parenting from watching moms at Danceworks. I have been around moms and kids since opening the studio when I was 24 years old. (And working in the industry for years before this.) So I’ve seen a lot of different parenting styles and many amazing moms in action. I think this really helped to shape the kind of parent I wanted to be and helped me parent intentionally and with awareness. So, I’d like to thank all of the past and present moms at Danceworks. I knew going into motherhood that moms are really superheroes. I see it daily.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I have been the owner and director of Danceworks in Denville for 29 years. The studio has been my life’s work and my passion. Our mission statement is “Quality dance education in a supportive and non-competitive environment”. I am proud to have created a space where dancers feel at home and can experience dance as an art form rather than a sport. I am also extremely proud of our talented staff of professional women. Together we’ve sent dancers off to college dance programs and out to work in the field. We’ve also educated passionate dancers who went on to be front-line workers, teachers and scientists. Some of the dancers have called me their “second mom”, which just melts me. I am blessed to have worked with so many amazing young people in Denville for decades.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Denville is a unique town full of vibrant businesses and wonderful families. The community focus in Denville is unmatched and a true testament to the character of the people who live and work here. I am grateful to be a part of the Denville business community. In 2014, I was named Denville’s business person of the year by the Chamber of Commerce. It was a huge honor that I sincerely treasure.