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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Guest karin

Ballet During Pregnancy

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Guest karin

Hello All,

 

I would like to hear experiences from any students (pros/teachers) that have danced during pregnancy (4th trimester too).

 

Please post here (if appropriate) or write to wm-scott@juno.com

Thank you! Karin

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Victoria Leigh

Hello Karin, and welcome to Ballet Alert Online! I'm going to move this question down to the Adult Ballet Students' forum, under Special Groups. I think you will perhaps get some answers down there :)

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Guest Laura Arneil

According to my dance teacher, she danced right upto the week before her son was born with no problems. Not only was she doing ballet, but she also did tap, jazz and lyrical.

 

What little I know of exercise during pregnancy, I've heard that so long as you are not engaging in jumps or running or doing sit-ups, you are fine. Your body will probably tell you what you can and can't do also. :)

 

[ 08-20-2001: Message edited by: Laura Arneil ]

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Guest dncrgrrl

My Jazz teacher just recently gave birth to a darling little boy, and she danced up until the last two weeks of her pregnancy (and her baby came right on time) She said she believed it helped with the stress on both the mind and the body!

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Mel Johnson

A woman I used to dance with was giving an adult class when she announced, "Oop! I guess I finish class, then go and have the baby!" A whole chorus of "Go now! Go now!" erupted, but she wasn't having any of it. We have to finish class - then have the baby! The pianist never played so fast in her life! ;) The baby just retired from NYCB, incidentally.

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julip

one of the women that i was in college with was taking class up to and during the day she went into labor. she felt that because her body was in good shape it made for a quick and comparably easy delivery. she also gave me advice for when ever i have a child...she said just do a graham contraction.

 

which reminds me of a dance-urban legend. did you ever hear the one about the graham dancer who had a miscarriage because of contracting to hard during class?

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Guest Nadezhda

I am far too young to have any experience of being pregnant myself, but I've had two teachers, who were pregnant. One this year, one two years ago. The later did give up dancing a couple of months before she actually gave birth but the first one danced almost to the very end of her pregnancy. I guess it is up to you, and your body how to react to this. If you feel good, I don't see any reasons why you shouldn't dance. The only "problem" there is, is that you might want to reconsider jumping in clasess. None of my teachers did jumping combinations and it seems logical to me, why not - they both had a complicated and difficult pregnancy with few times when they almost lost their baby. :) But it all turned out well.

 

Do you think a mother with no problems with the baby should do also the jumping combinations? :D Just wondering.

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Guest balletfitz

Hi,

 

I am currently 6 1/2 months pregnant and still enjoying ballet. I can still take a full class, although I stopped doing pointe and jumping after the first trimester. The main reasons for stopping pointe at that time was the additional weight putting stress on my feet and most importantly the increased joint flexibility. During pregnancy your body secrets a hormone which loosens up your joints in preparation for your expanding figure/giving birth. At first I thought "woo whoo! Here comes the 180 degree turnout", what I didn't count on was the decrease in stability, which I could tell almost immediately in my feet and now later in my hip joints and knees. Luckily my teacher has been through pregnancy before and cautions me too watch range of motion, etc. too avoid damage. So go for it, but just be aware of protecting your joints from damage. The jumping was cut on the advice from my doctor, although instead, I just modify the same movement doing eleves/releves, so that I can still work my foot/calve strength and placement. The additional weight hasn't caused as much of an issue as I would think it would on balance, more just creating a challenge with lifting to eleve or getting out of a deep plie (actually got stuck in grand plie the other day, how embarrassing), and putting more strain on my newly less stable joints. Clothes-wise, my teacher recommended a unitard with a tunic type deal over it, which has worked pretty well so far. I hope all you expectant mom's continue to enjoy the magic of dance, just think of how good all that music and motion is for your soon to be child and how much faster you'll get back in shape since you didn't give it up. B)

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Arabesque

Hi Karin! I danced throughout my pregnancy with no problem (I was considered "low risk"). My doctor said to listen to my body and make modifications when needed, but he never said to cut out any moves. I have always been extremely active (ballet, running, lifting weights) so as long as I wasn't adding something new, he wasn't concerned. Like balletfitz said, you do have be careful of your joints with the decreased stability (the hormone being secreted is appropriately called relaxin!). But I stopped pointe at 3 months because I was getting too many foot cramps and I was still jumping up to about 7 months, although certainly not with great elevation! :P I'm sure I looked very funny. One thing I noticed though was that my turns improved tremendously, a clear sign that I tend lean back when I pirouette! I returned to ballet 6 weeks after the birth and the biggest challenge for me was regaining my placement and alignment. My core was considerably weakened after birth and my lower back was pretty loose so it's taken me a lot of work to regain that solid core (I'm still working on it now a year later). Other than that, everything came back pretty quickly. We plan on having another baby sometime next year, so I'll be going through it all over again soon! B)

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Guest catlady

Hello all,

I have a six month old little girl and as a dancer/teacher I would have loved to keep going right up to the bitter end but complications did not permit me to do so. I found that if I took the time to listen, my body would tell me exactly what I was still capable of and what I was not. I was still performing at 4 months, but I stopped jumping shortly after because it just didn't feel right. I did still stretch up until delivery which I think helped speed my recovery time along. Everyone is different and you just need to listen to your body and trust the messages you receive. Just because so and so was doing chainees up until delivery doesn't mean you have to do the same. Actually, I have had a number of students come and take class at nine months in the hopes that the activity will send them into labor so they can get it over with!

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duckie9876

The best part about doing ballet while you are pregnant is that if you don't look in the mirror, you forget that you're pregnant! It's a great way to escape sometimes. I'm getting to the point where I'm getting tired of it and the baby is not due until Feb 5th!

 

Someone suggested a unitard -- I will try that. In the meantime, it's a leotard w/ stretchy pants.

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Mel Johnson

As time advances, you might want to try a sort of jumper that used to be called a "Mother Hubbard". It's sort of a hip-length muu-muu, and conceals a lot!

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