Teaching dance during pregnancy and after delivery
by Padma Chebrolu, Cincinnati, OH
June 30, 2004
Classical Indian dances are one of the most mentally and physically demanding dance styles. Many of the dance practitioners (both performers and teachers) in this field tend to be in their late 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond. Reason being it takes many years to learn the dance style, make significant contribution to the dance world and be recognized for it. For women especially, the challenges of having children and getting back to be physically fit to perform again is not an easy task. This is close to being reborn as a dancer. On top of it, if you own a dance studio, keeping it alive during pregnancy and post-pregnancy poses a great challenge.
|This is my personal journey
through motherhood. I write about how I was able to operate the dance studio
smoothly and get back into shape within a year to be able to present performances.
As I am not qualified in the medical field, I have always consulted my
physician and let her know of my life style and my passion for dance. I
had full support of my family, as we are all very athletics oriented and
keen on physical fitness.
During June of 2002, my husband and I found out we would be having a baby. I spoke with our physician about the consequences of being somewhat physically active with dance shows and running the studio. She encouraged me to be active as much as possible but with caution. My pregnancy was very healthy all along. My diet was good as I am a strict vegetarian and would eat only very low in fat foods. My diet included mainly rice, vegetables, fruits and milk. Compared to my first pregnancy, during this one I started gaining weight at a rapid pace.
Many parents started asking about classes after the delivery. I also heard from rumors, that some parents started thinking I would not be as committed to the dance studio after the baby was born. My answer to all of this was I am always committed to the dance field, and as soon as the baby and I were feeling fine, our classes would resume. It could be a few weeks or months.
Two weeks before the due date, my feet started swelling. This was an indication to me to start my maternity leave. Notification process to all the parents was set in place about the delivery and the details about when the classes would resume. I was six days overdue and it seemed like forever. Finally, on April 28th 2003, our son Noah Nataraj was born. I had to go through a c-section surgery due to his weight and size.