So I had a little boy last year and it has certainly turned my life upside down. But even before he was born, people would ask me if my ‘bump’ really liked dancing… The answer was always yes, and now that he’s out in the real world, that’s still very much the case.
As a dancer and teacher of dance, I have to grab any minute that I can to work on new and existing material, and with a baby on the arm, that’s still the case. I found out very early on that my baby liked the movements, music and chance to cuddle up to me whilst all this was going on. I also started noticing other mums, when I was out and about, doing similar sways and bounces as if they were dancing, when trying to calm their baby down. And it all makes perfect sense – for 9 months the child is used to ‘bounce around’ and get gently rocked around when ever the mother moves. They are able to pick up on sounds and music, and on top of that there’s of course the constant beat of their mother’s heart. So it makes perfect sense to continue dancing with the baby after the birth and that way help introduce them to movement and music. Dancing is also one of the best low impact ways of exercising, and therefore an ideal way for the mum to get back in shape!
Whilst I was preparing myself for motherhood I also spent a lot of time researching the benefits of belly dancing during pregnancy and made some amazing discoveries. Not only are many of the basic belly dance moves good for you during pregnancy, but they are also recommended by midwifes during labour (something I found particular reassuring!). So I recorded a video on the topic, when I was 6.5 month pregnant.
I should obviously point out that every pregnancy is different and if you’ve never danced before, or are having any complications whilst pregnant, then it may not be the best time to start doing so. But I’m sure that those of you who are already avid belly dancers won’t be surprise to hear that continuing to move your hips is really good for you – whether you’re pregnant or not. But I am hoping that I can spread the word about all the benefits even further and thereby help eradicate some of people’s misconceptions about belly dance being sleazy, only meant to entertain men or only for women of a certain body shape! When in fact it’s an ancient art form for women of all ages and sizes to enjoy together (and only on rare occasions will we allow men to witness our artistic expression and fun :-).
Happy dancing everyone…
Did you miss my last post? Read it here: Why being a mum might make you a better dancer