I have loved to dance since I was a little girl. Something about the freedom of moving my body always brought me great joy and offered a place of solace. I often did much better in situations that weren’t choreographed, but instead came from my own inner rhythm, a place where I could freely express myself. In the past many years I have studied a type of dance that helped me change the way I looked at dance. Under the guidance of Gabrielle Roth’s 5Rhythm™ teachers I found that dance was just another name for movement. That moving my body in the way it wanted to move gave me a sense of freedom and discovery. I discovered that when I moved my body my inner world unfolded. When I gave permission to my feet, to my shoulders, to my head to move…something unlocked inside of me that gave me permission to be more of who I am. It was a journey of surrendering.
When I was introduced to the idea of “Dancing for Birth” ™ I thought how perfect this would be for me. I had heard that they would use Belly dance moves, African dance moves and other cultural dance practices to assist a mom in labor. As a labor doula and a life time lover of dance I was excited to take this class. I have to say it was eye opening.
Much like the hours spent on dance floors discovering the language of my body I found that Dancing For Birth was also a language. The movements, whether based in Belly dance, African dance, Caribbean or Latin were all unfolding a language to pregnant women on how to use their bodies to connect to their babies and to help them to open their bodies in preparation for birth. To open their hips, yes, but to also open their hearts. (more…)
Charlotte and I teach a Dancing for Birth class. The trademark picture they use is one that is a firm belly in short belly shorts… and I find it a bit intimidating. It certainly does not look like any of my students- nor any of our teachers! I have found others feel a bit intimidated by it as well. The name- Dancing for Birth- makes one think that you must have some dancing skills- or have been a dancer. Charlotte and I are both dancers – trained with years of dancing in our past. But if you are not, the name could be a bit intimidating as well. We love the curriculum Stephanie Larson has for this training- we loved the workshop. We especially love the way this class helps women in their journey of motherhood! But, we wish the class name was Move It In Labor and With Baby! But it is called Dancing for Birth…. but I want you to think of it as Move It, Shake It, Shimmy! 🙂 We move new ideas in and old myths and fears out as well as our bodies in this class!
We start class with introductions from our maternal lineage. It was fun tracing my maternal roots. Before I took this class I knew my mom and grandmothers’ names, but did not know anything beyond that. So, I went on line and researched who were the women in my lineage. I now know all the way back to my great, great, great grandmother!
We sit knee to knee and pick an inspiration word from a group of cards face up on the floor in front of us. We let that word resonate within us and begin to understand why it “spoke” to us and understand why we were led to pick it.
I just took my training to become a Dancing for Birth instructor. Not only is this a great prenatal class but it also a great postpartum class. It starts off with a circle time of affirmations for birth and mothering. It is far more than just an exercise class for your body. It also embraces the mind so that the mind body connection is embraced fully. We teach some belly dancing, some African and some Latin moves that help to open our hips for labor and jiggle the baby down into that nice open space! We teach about optimal fetal positioning within the class as well. I love the fun aspect of this class as we don’t judge bodies or specific choreography but instead we embrace moving! ?New moms share with the pregnant moms. And babies are worn during the class so they get to enjoy it as much as they did when they were in utero. I am excited about how this is a great teaching time but also a fun time! I am looking forward to scheduling my first class!