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Dance after a baby ?


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Hi there everyone. I am 26 years old and I have 14 years of Ballet experience and did a year at the London Studio centre I had my daughter 10 mths ago and Im now trying to get back into shape as I have a degree in Dance teaching with the I.D.T.A

I had sciatica throughout my pregnancy so have had 2 years where I couldnt dance. luckily my back problem is fine now. But I put on 2 stone and Im finding it hard to lose.

I am finding it frustrating as most of my confidence has gone and I even feel I may be too overweight to teach.

I am after other peoples experiences and exercises. I have been doing Barre at home. And roughly how long does it take to get back into it all. Many Thanks

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Congratulations for getting into the swing of things again. I know that it's so hard to know in your head all of the things you used to do but the body is not able to do it yet. I took a year off and am finding it really hard to get back to where I was before. I've also recently started teaching in addition to taking classes. When I first started ballet I had quite a bit of weight to lose and eventually lost quite a bit. But, after taking a year off I gained 15 lbs. back again. Luckily, I've lost ten of those so I only have a few more to go.


The only real advice I have to give you is to be patient with yourself. The surest way to sabotage your success is to beat yourself up about it. At least that's how I am. If you just set small goals and keep at it a little at a time you'll be up to par in no time. Having children is hard on your body and stretches out muscles in all kinds of crucial areas so it takes lots of time to tone those up again.


Teaching is also hard work, especially if you have to demonstrate everything at the same time. Just doing that will help you get into shape again. I don't think you have to be a perfect weight to teach, either. I don't think students will perceive you negatively, though you may feel self conscious. I also suggest taking a class somewhere in addition to your barrework at home and teaching. When you take a class you usually work harder than you would on your own. Having the schedule also helps you to be accountable and consistent.


Just do whatever you need to do to get started again and just keep at it. Keep us posted on how you're doing, too. Good luck! :wink:

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If you're still trying to build up confidence, a good way to test the waters is to go to an open beginning class, even if it's far below your skill level. Preferably in a school where no one knows you :wink:


Also I think it's easier to lose weight when you're doing ballet a lot, rather then waiting to lose weight, and then going to ballet.

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I am a teacher who has had two children(with my second one, I was wearing XXL maternity pants). Things took about a year to get back to normal after the first one(I had at 33); after two years and two months, I am finally at a place I can live with after #2. I had sciatic problems in my lower rotators for almost two years after baby #2, so you have my deepest sympathy on that horrible path to travel.


Though I taught through both pregnancies, I was on modified activity from 20 weeks on the second time around due to second trimester bleeding. Throughout my thrities I have regularly taken a professional level class on Sunday mornings. After baby 2, I was back in class 3 weeks post partum- believe me, I was not a pretty sight!


What has worked incredibly well for me is walking with the stroller. Last summer, my four year old would still sit in it so I had her 37lbs plus the younger one at about 20lbs plus the weight of the stroller. A half an hour walk pushing all that leaves you breatheless! But it does work wonders. During the winter or on rainly days, I find good half hour aerobic dvds are useful- now I am not saying that FINDING that half an hour in a day is easy; my younger daughter had undiagnosed reflux for six months and rarely napped for more than 20 minutes at a time. Pilates dvds are great for getting the abdominal muscles back in shape as well.


I have one crying right now so I gotta go make them some lunch. Hope this helps.


Hang in there.

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Welcome to BT4D, dancer333.


This topic has been discussed bit here at BT4D, and here's are some of the discussions for you:


Ballet wants pregnant dancers

Sciatic troubles after pregnancy

After weight loss what changes to expect?


(the last post moved into the post-childbirth dancing body).


I've not been able to have the experience of pregnancy, but a friend of mine I taught with said that she had the best rotation & flexibility when pregnant, because of the way that the ligaments loosened around her pelvic girdle. But she had to adjust to a completely different centre of balance & gravity! My sister (a pro dancer) danced throughout 2 pregnancies (although not on stage).

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Knock, knock, medical mod here. I work with pregnant and postpartum moms and also have a fitness background.


Taking baby out for a long walk in the push chair (stroller) every day is a great starting point. Ensure that you are taking a healthy diet, especially if you are breast feeding your baby. If the sciatic pain during pregnancy has disappeared, it is unlikely it will come back until you are either pregnant again or somewhat older, barring injury, of course.


Relaxin is the hormone present in pregnancy that relaxes the pelvic joints (and all the other joints, too!). After pregnancy, your pelvic joints don't fully return to their pre-pregnant state, but some lucky women get pretty darned close.


Two stone (28 lbs.) seems like a daunting amount but increasing your daily activity will help melt it off. I suggest resistance training for strength and stretching for flexibility, along with an easy level of ballet, perhaps even a good recreational adult class as a starting point. Brisk walking (good shoes!) or cycling are both fine for beginning cardio (endurance).

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Many thanks everyone for your great replies. Its given me a real boost. And after a few days of doing a barre at home and exercising more. I can feel my flexibility coming back. Its sad that dancers feel so judged by weight. In this industry. But you have given me more confidence in going forward and teaching.



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After my second child I joined Jazzercise and lost a lot of weight doing that without even trying. I had thought I was going to retire from dancing after my second child but all the Jazzercising made me feel great and strong and I started dancing (and teaching) again soon after that. I don't know if they have Jazzercise in the UK, but I bet they have something similar to that. It's basically just aerobics and muscle toning choreographed to popular music.

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