Move It, Shake It, Shimmy!

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! ūüôā 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.

We warm up on birth/exercise balls- using scarfs to stretch out our bodies. Some of the beginner dance movements are done on the ball- warming up our pelvises and hips. We then begin to dance. We incorporate some Belly Dance movements, some Caribbean, some Latin and some African. We have been known to do some American dance floor moves as well.

While dancing we discuss how movement is used to facilitate labor. We have some games we play and some movements to show how these movements help to get the baby lined up as well as help the baby move out during the birth! We laugh and have fun all the while! Inhibitions and¬†embarrassment¬†about not being able to dance are thrown out the window. We have fun doing strike a pose catwalks and conga lines! We begin to see our real beauty no matter our shape or size. This week we even left the class room and conga’d down the hall of the building we were teaching in!

We provide wraps and coin scarfs to jingle as we shimmy to help our abdominal muscles be firmed up and our babies to be either soothed in a sling with them tied on our bodies or soothed within our wombs. This kind of movement is for everyone!

We discuss myths about birth, breastfeeding and babies weaving the motherlore of my years of teaching childbirth and Charlotte’s years of working as a massage therapist and yoga instructor. We help uncover fears that need to be worked through as well as clear up the mind body disconnect that could be inhibiting a gentle labor or healing postpartum period.

We cool down with some yoga moves that help us recenter. We come back knee to knee to choose an affirmation card that is face down on the floor in front of us. Sharing the inner wisdom that has been kindled from this time with other women and our babies. We close with a celebration of each other, sharing what we have learned from them.

So you can see this class is much more than dancing for birth. It is about movement with our bodies and minds. It is about bonding with our babies and feeling the blessings of motherhood. It is about reflection and eureka moments of understanding that come at the most surprising times. It is about fun and friendships being formed. We  would love to have you come and Move It, Shake It and Shimmy with us! Check our calendar for upcoming classes! Join our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/AtlantaDFB for upcoming events and announcements!